Team Green Lawyers cares about the safety of our clients, our staff and our community. We have decided to limit office hours to do our part to slow the spread of illness. However, our team is still available via phone and email 24 hours a day. So if you have any questions or need some help, please give us a call at 315.215.0517.

Beat fraudsters through credit report vigilance

It is time to start tracking what your credit report is saying.

Watch out credit card owners! There is a new kind of fraud which constitutes 20 percent of all fraudulent credit card losses. This is the infamous “new account fraud” which is difficult for consumers to detect and fight. The new account fraud is the opening of new credit cards and other accounts using the victim’s name and may include other personal information.

But this does not mean that other forms of credit frauds are out of the picture. Having an unauthorized charge on your credit card is still a popular method for swindlers.. Al Pascual, director of fraud and security for Javelin, states that fraud is shifting to a more damaging kind of fraud for consumers. While losses from unauthorized buying or withdrawals on existing accounts declined from 14 billion to 12 billion last year, frauds from creating new accounts without the knowledge of the user increased by $ 1 billion.

Amidst the heightened efforts to protect consumers from credit card fraud, this is alarming because those who became victims of new account fraud suffer more than the typical fraud victims. For instance, they spend three times the usual bill and have out-of-pocket costs which can be five times higher.

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New efforts to increase Card Protection

A new effort has been developed to increase protection in the form of EMV technology cards. It is short for Europay, Mastercard and Visa to make processing safer and faster. It is an ingenious development in the form of microchip in chip cards which makes distinct and fluid data each time a consumer transacts. In essence, it makes it harder for hackers to imitate and utilize the information of credit card users.

Jon Krauss, credit product management senior manager at Discover, said that the new chip cards and the technology they have, provide an additional layer of security against fraud during on the spot purchases.

Nonetheless, those changes do not guarantee 100% safety from hackers. They will always find ways to evolve as technology evolves. One way to fight such frauds is to equip yourself with information and consistent monitoring.

Many Americans are not checking their credit report

In a survey by TransUnion, it was reported that nearly one-third of Americans have never checked their credit report.

Luckily, there are free sites which will give you regular free access and checking such as, or In those sites, you will be offered regular report access and they will even send notifications whenever a change occurs in your card.

Hackers are trying to steal your Information

Be mindful in dealing with email traps as hackers are after a more critical personal information like your Social Security Number. When this happens, other vital data can easily fall in their fingertips. Once you are notified of a breach, be wary and trust no one, especially on transactions done online.

If things get worse, another option is to apply for a credit freeze. This prevents you and others from applying for new credit accounts. While it may help instantly, it poses an inconvenience, as you will have to inform the three bureaus before you can apply for a new loan or new credit card. On top of that, fees ranging from $3 to $10 are required by each bureau when you apply for a freeze and for unfreezing.

At the end of the day, your safety boils down to your vigilance and diligence in dealing with your credit report and credit transactions.