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Credit card fraud is a term used to describe any instance of unauthorized use of someone else's credit eligibility to purchase goods and services in favour of a third party. And while for a handful of crooks credit card fraud may be a prosperous business, it is certainly a growing concern for the rest of humanity.

Identity theft is by far the most dangerous type of credit fraud, closely followed by credit card fraud. In the case of identity theft, personal financial information is used for various illegal activities such as credit crimes. Credit card fraud occurs when someone gets an unauthorised access to your credit card details and uses this information to incur multiple charges on your card. If you have fallen victim to identity theft or credit card fraud, read the following guide on what you need to do.

Contact the Credit Agencies

As a first step towards the clearing of a credit fraud from your credit report, you need to contact some of the big credit agencies available in your country and ask them for a copy of the latter. They will provide it free of charge.

Examine Your Credit Report

Once youíve got it, you have to examine it carefully to detect any unfamiliar charges or names of dealers on your statement. You have to also look for accounts that you just canít remember opening, however hard you may try, or any inquiries about your credit that you apparently have not filed. Finally, make sure that your personal information such as your full names, social security number and address are accurate.

Inform Local Authorities

Alert the local authorities if you notice any illegal credit activity on your credit report and prepare all the documents youíll need to prove your legitimate transactions.

Talk to Your Creditor

As a forth step, you have to notify the credit card issuer that you have fallen victim to credit card fraud. Do not forget to follow up with a letter once you have contacted them over the phone. It is a good idea to keep track of all formal and informal correspondence with the issuer. Donít forget to request them to freeze all activities on the suspected accounts.

Request Replacement Card

Remember that a credit card fraud can be cleared only through active cooperation between you and your credit card issuer. If you notice unauthorized charges on your card, call your credit card company immediately and request a replacement card. Even if you are not a victim of fraud, keep track of all charges.

Contact a Lawyer

You may also contact a lawyer or an attorney to find out what the legal venues of protection are in your country of residence. Take all legal actions in accordance with the existing anti-fraud laws. In most cases, you will have to file a dispute on the identified fraud and support your claim with all the necessary documents and additional information to prove your case. You have to also alert the local authorities if you suspect that your social security number has been or is being used to draw credits on your name. When you report a credit fraud to the police, ask the officer on duty to give you a copy of the report that you can use to prove the fraud to your creditor.

Request New Credit Report

Having taken all of the necessary actions to clear a credit fraud from your credit report, you need to request a fresh copy of the latter in a few months or so to make sure they have taken effect.