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SC Consumers Losing Hundreds of Thousands to Credit/Debit Card Fraud

Mon, 12/23/2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Credit card fraud continues to be the number one reported type of identity theft in South Carolina with debit card and checking account fraud not far behind. Since July 2019, 168 consumers reported credit/debit card fraud totaling in $408,893.45 lost.

December is Identity Theft Awareness Month and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) urges consumers to watch out for these types of financial fraud, especially as they spend more money than any other time of year. Here are ways to keep your information and money safe:

  • Don’t use debit cards online. A thief using your debit card number can drain your bank account before you even notice it. With a hijacked credit card number, while your available credit may be affected, your pocketbook is unchanged because of the added protections credit cards offer.
  • Closely monitor your credit report and financial statements/accounts. Check all monthly statements and account activity. You can obtain your FREE credit reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling (877) 322-8228. Review your statements and credit report for unauthorized purchases/accounts and suspicious items.
  • Consider a fraud alert and security freeze. A fraud alert tells a business accessing your report to take extra steps to verify that you are the one seeking its goods/services. When a security freeze is in place, no one can access your report without your OK. Both are FREE, just contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place an alert and contact each of them to place a freeze: Equifax (800) 685-1111, Experian (888) 397-3742 and TransUnion (888) 909-8872.

Consumers who believe they are the victim of identity theft are encouraged to seek guidance from SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit. Call (844) TELL DCA (835-5322) or fill out an ID Theft Intake form by visiting consumer.sc.gov.