If someone opened a credit card in your name, contact the credit card's issuer and inform them of the situation. They will be able to close the fraudulent account in a timely manner once you verify your identity. But don't stop there. You may be a victim of identity theft, so there are a few additional steps that you should make sure to take.
What to do if someone opened a credit card in your name:
Contact the card's issuer to inform them the account is fraudulent.
Review your credit reports and dispute any inaccuracies you may find.
Place a fraud alert on one of your credit reports. A fraud alert can potentially make it harder for thieves to open accounts in your name. You only need to contact one credit bureau (Equifax, TransUnion or Experian) to place a fraud alert. That bureau will then inform the other two of the request. A fraud alert lasts for one year. During that time, businesses must verify your identity before opening a new loan or line of credit. You can request a new fraud alert after one year.
Request a credit freeze on all your major credit reports. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it nearly impossible for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. To request or remove a credit freeze, you must contact the three major credit bureaus separately.
You can learn more about credit freezes in our Credit Freeze guide. You can also find tips on how to protect yourself against identity theft, as well as a list of the relevant authorities you should inform, in our Identity Theft guide.
To find out if someone opened a credit card in your name, get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You’ll be able to see all of the credit cards opened in your name on those reports. It’s important to check all three reports for fraudulent accounts, as each report might contain different information. Not all creditors report to all three bureaus, nor do they report under the same timeframes.… read full answer
If you suspect someone has opened a credit card in your name, freeze your credit reports with each of the three major credit bureaus as a precautionary measure. This will stop anyone from opening additional accounts in your name. All credit freezes are free of charge.
Next, contact the card’s issuer to get some info about the account. If it turns out to be fraudulent, you’ll want to get the authorities involved. Contact the FTC to report the identity theft and establish a record of the incident. Then, use the record of your report to file a dispute with the credit bureaus and get the information taken off your credit reports.
Here’s how to find out if someone opened a credit card in your name:
2. Check your reports in detail. Go through all the accounts listed on your credit reports and make sure they’re legitimate. Confirm the balances are accurate as well. If you see an account that you believe is fraudulent, you’ll need to file a dispute with the credit bureaus, contact the issuer and more.
3. Consider a credit freeze. This shuts off access to your credit report from anyone but you, preventing fraudsters from opening more accounts in your name. You will have to request a separate freeze for each of the three major credit bureaus, but each is free. If you wish to apply for credit, you can request a temporary lift of the freeze, even for just one lender.
4. Contact the credit card issuer. The final step in figuring out if someone opened a credit card in your name is to call the card’s issuer. Explain that you did not open the account and inquire as to the address and other information used to do so. Also, request that they suspend the account while it is under investigation. This will prevent a fraudster from running up more debt on an account in your name.
If the credit card’s issuer finds that the account is fraudulent, be sure to file an identity theft report with the FTC. You can also call their Consumer Response Center at 1 (877) 382-4357. In addition, make sure to dispute the account(and any other fraudulent information) on all three of your credit reports. Provide any documentation you get from the issuer and law enforcement to support your case. Until it’s removed from your credit reports, any negative information from the fraud will hurt your credit score.
You should take these steps as soon as you discover someone opened a credit card in your name. There are also a variety of things you can do to prevent similar incidents from occurring again. For example, you’d be wise to regularly review your credit card statements and credit reports as well as sign up for free 24/7 credit monitoring.
The crimes that an identity thief is able to commit with your personal information range from applying for a credit card under your name before subsequently racking up prodigious charges to poaching your tax refund.
While identity theft leads to billions of dollars in losses each year, financial institutions assume most of the liability for spending-related fraud.… read full answer
You can learn more about how identity theft works here and find out the steps you need to take following identity theft here.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.