Following the massive Equifax data breach of 2017, many Georgia consumers are heavily on guard against identity theft. Knowing that Social Security numbers and a lot of driver’s license numbers are now vulnerable, many Georgia residents have taken extra security measures. In order to keep their credit safe, consumers are freezing their credit reports and signing up for credit monitoring services. In the middle of all of this, however, Georgia consumers can’t forget about small-scale credit card fraud. Unfortunately, a lot of local scammers continue to plague Georgia restaurants, retail establishments, and gas stations. For example, a former waiter in Roswell, Georgia now faces felony theft charges after stealing a customer’s credit card information at a local diner.
This just goes to show that credit card fraud can happen anywhere – even in places that seem relatively safe. So, in order for Georgia consumers to protect their finances and credit scores, they must remain vigilant at all times.
How Small-Scale Credit Card Fraud Struck Customers at a Diner in Roswell, Georgia
Last year, a Georgia couple stopped at the Peachtree Diner on Holcomb Bridge Road on Thanksgiving Day. They wanted to grab a quick meal on their way to visit family members. When they left the diner, they noticed some suspicious-looking charges on the credit card they had used at the diner. The tip they had left the waiter was also increased by $10. This was a good clue for identifying the culprit.
Even with this solid piece of evidence, though, almost a full year passed before the former waiter at the Peachtree Diner was arrested. All of the fraudulent credit card charges reported by the Georgia couple were traced back to this individual. During the investigation, it was also discovered that the culprit had outstanding warrants and a history of credit card fraud. In addition, the Roswell police believe that other Georgia consumers suffered unreported credit card fraud at the hands of this individual.
With this incident in mind, all Georgia consumers should remember to guard their credit card information wherever they go. Unfortunately, even credit report freezes cannot prevent fraudsters from stealing payment information from active credit cards and using it to make bogus transactions. True, you can always catch the fraudulent transactions and reverse the unauthorized charges. Yet, it is much easier if you can prevent the credit card fraud from happening in the first place.
How Georgia Consumers Can Prevent Small-Scale Credit Card Fraud While Shopping or Dining Out at Local Establishments
There are large-scale data hacks on the one hand, and smaller, local identity theft threats in Georgia on the other. It feels like your personal data and payment information is never truly safe. However, for everyday protection of your debit and credit card information, a few tips might save you a lot of hassle.
- If possible, don’t let your credit card out of sight. This is more difficult at some restaurants than others, of course. Yet, if there is an option to pay at a register instead of handing your payment card over to a server, take the short trip to the cash register.
- Pay with cash. This requires an extra trip to the ATM (where card skimmers may lurk, so be careful). But, when you pay with cash at a store or restaurant, you don’t have to worry about scammers stealing your debit or credit card information.
- Keep an eye on the additional contents of your purse or wallet. While you are focused on the payment card in use, old-fashioned pickpockets can strike. So, only carry the debit and credit cards that you need, and never leave your belongings unattended.
Sadly, even cautious Georgia consumers are sometimes the victims of small-scale credit card fraud. So, in order to fully protect yourself from local identity theft threats, you should check your financial statements frequently. It is also a good idea to keep tabs on your credit reports.
Why Credit Report Monitoring Protects Georgia Consumers Against Credit Card Fraud and Other Types of Identity Theft
Pulling and checking your credit reports at least once every 12 months is a good way to catch obvious signs of identity theft in Georgia. Also, it is important to review your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This is because not every lender reports to all three bureaus, so each of your credit reports may contain different information.
The easiest way to get all three copies of your credit report is to visit www.annualcreditreport.com, the only free credit report website authorized by the federal government. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to do this for free, once a year.
While going over your credit reports, if you spot suspicious items, file a police report immediately. You will need a copy of this police report in order to remove bogus items from your credit reports. Then, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America. Our firm is here to ensure that Georgia victims of identity theft don’t have to fix resulting credit report damage on their own. Instead, after contacting us about your issue, an experienced credit attorney will handle the entire process for you – for free.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft
Don’t let identity theft damage on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (404) 591-6680 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/fixing-identity-theft/.