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Consumers are under increasing risk of identity theft. It is imperative to take special measures to avoid being targeted. American Express offers customers many tips and ideas to avoid being targeted. They also have systems in place that help to prevent fraudulent activity from occurring.
American Express provides a service called Identity Theft Assistance and A Fraud Protection Center. Both are designed to help customers to detect and handle fraud. These services have been put into place for the customer's protection.
Identity Theft Assistance
American Express has staff available 24/7 who can help customers by providing information on identity theft and how to avoid becoming a victim. They offer many tips that card holders should put into practice. Many people are under the false assumption that having one's identity stolen is not a big deal. They think as soon as it is spotted actions can be taken to stop it right away. However, clearing up the mess left behind by one of these criminals can take years of frustration and time spent in court. It's better for people to do all they can to avoid becoming a victim than to try to restore their credit after the damage has been done.
Preventing identity theft can be done by establishing some good habits. All sensitive information should be kept locked away in a safe or other location to which you are the only one with access. Documents that contain any personal information should be shredded before they are thrown away. It is recommended to get copies of your credit report from all three major bureaus at least once per year, but preferably every 6 months. Do not give out any personal information over the telephone if it can be avoided. Review monthly credit card statements regularly to see your recent account activity and make sure you recognize all the charges.
Some of the tips offered by American Express include what to do if you think your identity has been stolen. You should contact any creditors that are showing charges that you don't recognize. Next, you should contact the credit bureaus to have your information corrected. If you confirm your identity has been stolen, you should also contact the Police. Any accounts that are suspect should be closed immediately before more damage is done. American Express also offers a Toolkit online that is designed to guide customers through what they should do about identity theft.
Fraud Protection Center
For their part, American Express goes to great lengths to help you protect your information and keep your credit card from being used fraudulently. They offer a fraud protection guarantee that means you won't be held responsible for any fraudulent charges on your AMEX card. They have also worked with some retail and online stores to have them ask for your zip code or Card Identification Digits when you use the card. This is to help ensure that it is you using your card.
They also continue to monitor your account for suspicious transactions. They have a very sophisticated monitoring system in place that is designed to detect fraudulent activity and protect you from it. If a questionable transaction is noticed on your account, you will be called to verify it. American Express also offers its customers Account Alerts that can send text messages or emails to inform you about payments due, payments received, and to inform you of your balance. This is another way for you to stay on top of your account activity if you choose to use it.
American Express also makes a habit to put out alerts of any fraudulent activity that could affect their clients. For example if someone is using their name fraudulently, AMEX is quick to inform their customers. If a phishing scam is detected, American Express will work quickly to put a stop to it. Phishing is when someone sends emails to customers and makes them look like they are coming from the creditor. The emails ask for personal information like account numbers or passwords. American Express will never ask for personal information over email.
It is important to always be on the alert for credit card fraud. Protecting yourself is important and aligning yourself with companies who stay on top of the latest security methods is also a great way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. While you still may find yourself as a victim, following these tips can greatly reduce your chances.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express®.