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Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud Part III – How to Spot Fraud

February 25, 2020 by Hunter Swanson

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! Today should be a day filled with boisterous laughter, lavish costumes, and ornate masks. And even though it’s a time of happy celebration, you must keep your wits about you, especially when it comes to your credit card.

Before you let the good times roll, we highly recommend starting this series from the beginning with Types of Credit Card Fraud followed by Protection Steps before continuing on.

If you’ve accessed your credit reports at any time in your life, odds are that you have seen some mistaken information in your credit file. After all, statistics show that the majority of people have errors on their credit report. Identity theft is one natural concern when this kind of information is found.

There are two main types of incorrect information on your credit reports. Knowing these two will help you stay vigilant and spot credit card fraud:


Honest Mistakes

If you see a wrong address, wrong middle initial or even a wrong account on your credit report, it may not necessarily be identity theft.  A human error while entering information could always be a possibility.  But usually, because credit reports are compiled based on your identifying information, these errors might just be a case of mistaken identity. However, this does mean that another person’s potentially damaging information is finding its way onto your credit reports.


Major Warning Signs

The other main type of false information on your credit report is data generated because someone is using your information to open accounts or otherwise commit fraud. One of the best things about credit reports is that they track this kind of account information and leave a “paper trail” of accounts that are opened in your name. If you see a credit card on your credit report that was opened, quickly maxed out and then never paid on, that should be a red flag.


All incorrect information on your credit reports should be taken seriously. The bottom line is that you need to get this information off your credit reports, and as it turns out, getting it removed is also the best way to determine if false information is identity theft.

For more information on Protecting Yourself from Fraud, please check out the rest of the series:

For more information regarding your security with Spectrum Credit Union and how to report a lost or stolen credit card, please visit Security Central.


BALANCE is an amazing resource for all our members to utilize when taking on life's milestones. With trusted guidance available for free, they are ready to help everyone on the path to financial wellness. This article and many more can be found on their website: balancepro.org.

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