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Weeklong Activity to Highlight Credit Report Check

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

A weeklong awareness campaign is set to highlight the importance of credit report check in the prevention of identity theft. The activity will also provide consumers information on how to protect themselves and their finances against the fastest growing crime in the United States.
A private nonprofit organization aims to educate consumers about identity theft, a crime which has victimized 10 million Americans in 2008.

Weeklong Activity to Highlight Credit Report CheckThis is a 22% rise from the previous year. The awareness campaign, which will run from October 17 to 24, is called by the organizers as the National Protect Your Identity Week. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is expected to emphasize the importance of regular credit report check to protect one’s identity.

A private research organization reveals that 71% of frauds happen a week after the theft has been committed. This shows that consumers immediately acquire new debts once their identity is stolen. Credit card fraud still ranks as the most rampant among the types of identity theft, making up 26% of the total number of cases. This happens when someone acquires the credit card number of a person when he makes a purchase.

Specialists point out that the main reason why consumers fall victim to this new kind of theft is that they are not aware of it. By not checking their reports with the bureaus, experts say, consumers are left unaware of fraudulent items under their name. Many Americans rack up huge debts for money they did not borrow. When a thief applies for a credit card or a mortgage loan and does not pay it, the delinquency will appear under on the victim’s credit report. Experts say that this could be very disastrous since it will keep a customer from borrowing money at reasonable rates. In worst cases, a consumer’s record will become an automatic red flag for lenders, which will keep him from getting any loan.

Experts advise consumers to check their report regularly to keep track of the items in their accounts. Annualcreditreport.com is a site which is run by the three major credit reporting agencies under mandates from the federal government. The Fair Credit Reporting Acting entitles consumers one free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion once a year. Specialists add that checking one’s credit report is the best way to prevent the fraud from happening. The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to report immediately to the bureaus when they see any fraudulent transaction under their name.

The National Protect Your Identity Week will also give consumers information on how to prevent the crime and how to fight it once someone chooses to victimize them.

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