Credit 101: Bureaus, Reports & ID Theft

Credit Score on Mobile Phone

Credit Is More Than Your Card 

When your information is exposed in a data breach, it can cause panic and concern. Who can I trust? What should I do? And who has access to my information?  

The good news is that some of the most effective preventative measures are already within your reach. Your credit information – paired with the right credit protection tools – can help defend against fraud and identity theft after a data breach event.  

Each of us understands the concept of credit from our own perspectives. Credit typically means “buy now, pay off later.” Credit scores indicate our lending risk and credit reports are often reviewed to rent an apartment, apply for a loan or open new credit card accounts.

Industry experts (including those of us at Sontiq, too) often suggest that consumers check their credit reports, consider placing credit freezes or fraud alerts, and contact the three major credit bureaus. So, let’s look at how credit works, how your credit reports can help you spot identity crime and additional tools you can use to further protect your credit information.   Continue reading

Why Are Fraudsters Targeting College Students?

As summer starts winding down, there is uncertainty what “back to school” will look like this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The news is continuously developing around whether students will be back in the classrooms, participating online, or doing a hybrid of the two. Either way, students will get back to learning, and as young adults go off to college it may open more than their minds to new ideas and doors to new opportunities; college may also open their eyes to issues often overlooked: experiencing identity theft and fraud. The 20 to 29 age group is most affected by identity theft, representing 33 percent of victims according to a 2019 Federal Trade Commission report.

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What Is the Difference Between Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft?

credit card fraud

It’s easy to confuse credit card fraud with identity theft, but they’re not the same thing. Let’s take a quick look at how they’re different.

Credit Card Fraud vs. Identity Theft

Credit card fraud is a potential consequence of identity theft. Here, a thief steals your credit card information and then makes purchases in a store or online. Most credit card companies have a liability limit of $50. This means that even if a thief has charged thousands of dollars to your card, you’d likely only have to pay $50. More often than not, credit card companies simply wipe out any charges that are the result of fraud. Continue reading