Consumer Fraud Tips This section contains information and links to web sites related to what you, as a consumer, can do to help protect yourself from card fraud.
Protect Yourself From Card Fraud ... and What to do if You Suspect Fraudulent Activity To ensure your credit or debit card has not been used inappropriately, you should always:
If you suspect a transaction you did not make:
- Check your credit and debit card monthly statements carefully for suspicious activity.
- Contact the issuer of your card immediately.
- You are not financially liable for counterfeit fraudulent purchases made by third parties that are reported in a timely way to the card issuer.
Tips for Monitoring and Protecting Your Personal Data
- Review your credit report at least once a year. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also contact each credit bureau directly:
- Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, https://www.alerts.equifax.com
- Experian, P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com, 1.888.EXPERIAN (397.3742)
- TransUnion, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790, http://www.transunion.com, 1.800.916.8800
- Should you find any suspicious activity on your credit report or have reason to believe your information is being misused, contact your local law enforcement agency or Attorney General's office, and file a police report. If you file a police report, make sure to get a copy of it — which you have a right to do — and retain it for future reference.
- Report fraudulent Internet crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. This resource — a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance — provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet-related crimes.
- You can also contact each credit bureau directly (see contact information above) to place a security/fraud alert on your credit file. A security/fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. If you wish, you can take the additional step of requesting a security freeze on your credit report. A security freeze prohibits a credit bureau from releasing any information in your credit report without written authorization. Please be aware, however, that placing a security freeze on your credit report may interfere with the timely approval of any requests you make for new credit, loans or other services. When requesting a security freeze, you will need to provide your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, home addresses within the past five years, proof of your current home address (such as a utility bill) and a copy of your driver's license or other government ID card. The agency may charge a fee to place and remove a security freeze. This fee is generally $10 or less and may be waived if you provide a valid copy of a police report.
- Tear or shred all documents containing personally identifiable information — including your Social Security number, checking and savings account numbers, date of birth, home address and zip code. This will help prevent your personal data from ending up in the hands of others.
- Always keep your PIN numbers and other account information hidden. Do not write your PIN on your credit, debit or ATM card.
- Criminals often seek to take advantage of situations like this to try to obtain personal information, like credit and debit card numbers, PINs and Social Security numbers. We will not send emails or telephone you asking for personal information. If you receive an email or telephone call claiming to be a representative of Heartland, please do not provide any personal information.