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1000 Anchorage Residents Need to Pull Out their Credit Report Soon

By Faye Mergel
Published: Friday, January 1st, 2010

One thousand residents in Anchorage, Alaska may have to check their credit report soon for mysterious or fraudulent items after a recent computer hack left them vulnerable to identity theft.

1000 Anchorage Residents Need to Pull Out their Credit Report SoonInvestigators are yet to determine who is behind the hacking, but Jan Jones of the Consumer Counseling Service of Alaska warns that the case could be quite complicated. Police officials believe that it is a computer hacking after eliminating possible angles of the case. However, they refuse to release the name and type of the business involved since it is a victim of the security breach as well.

Alaska Police Department (APD) Detective Glen Klinkhart said they are still in the process of finding out who is responsible so it is very important for them not only to keep the case solid but also to be able to continue their investigation. He added that not only cardholders, but the business too, could suffer from this computer security breach.

Police reported that they are getting ten to 20 reports a day about possible victims of the crime. Up to date, they have received 150 confirmed reports about fraudulent purchases ranging from a few hundred to a thousand dollars.

Jones said it depends on the cardholders whether they would take responsibility or not. She noted that many people in Alaska think that such a crime could never happen in the state. However, it is that kind of attitude which made the crime happen in the first place, she added. Anchorage victims were not expecting of any such crime to happen at all.

Consumer protection experts suggest that cardholders check their credit report and statements regularly. If a fraudulent transaction is found, she advises cardholders to contact their card issuer and have it labeled as fraud. The next thing to do, Jones added, is to report the incident to the police and get a case number. Cardholders may be required by their card issuer to present this number. Consumers who are not cardholders are likewise advised to check their credit report regularly.

Jones also tells identity theft victims to avoid placing a 90-day fraud alert on their credit report. She explained that the alert is temporary but the fraud is not, so it would be such a hassle for a victim to place the alert over and over again.

Bureaus sell credit report information so it is important for consumers to make sure that no fraudulent item is hurting their credit worthiness, specialists say. They add that cardholders of the business in question will do best if they pull out their credit report now to prevent any scammer from stuffing it with debts.

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