Credit Card FAQ
Finding Out How Many Credit Cards Have Been Issued in My Name?
You may have a few reasons for wanting to know how many credit cards have been issued in your name, ranging from simple forgetfulness to concerns about identity theft. If you have had credit cards in the past and have perhaps let them lapse or have never used them, it could be easy to forget how many or what credit cards you actually had.
A more concerning scenario is if you suspect that you are the victim of identity theft and need to find out facts before taking further action or making reports.
But how do you go about discovering what you need to know and who do you report it to in the event of any discrepancies or suspicious activity in your name?
Your Credit Report
The first obvious step is to contact the leading credit reference agencies or bureaus. They will be able to give you in-depth details of any credit cards you have or have had in the past. The reports should be studied extremely carefully and any discrepancies noted. Do not just rely on the report from one of the bureaus as different bureaus might well have different reports and items listed in your name.
By law a person is allowed a free credit report once a year from the three major credit bureaus, so it is advisable to obtain a report from each of them spread out over the course of a one year period. This will enable you to keep track of any new activity on your credit report, and in turn enable you to report or query any activity that looks unfamiliar or suspicious. Alternatively, if the free reports have all been used, a fee can be paid to obtain the report at any time.
Credit bureaus collate information on personal, financial and other data about individuals from sources such as utility suppliers, creditors, debt collection agencies and court public records. Credit repayment histories, debt obligations and bankruptcies are just a sample of the information collected, as well as any financial obligations and details of borrowing or applications for borrowing.
If you notice any items such as credit cards listed that you do not recognize or that seem suspicious report them in writing to the credit bureau that you obtained the report from. Go into specific detail about what information you think is wrong, and why. Also report them to the bank that issued the credit cards, making sure to supply any supporting documentation to prove your claim. Be aware that there may be cards that have been issued in the past in your name for a partner or spouse.
Identity Theft Concerning Credit Cards
In the case of there being more credit cards on your file than you think is right, it could be a simple case of mistaken information on your report. A more sinister reason however could be that there has been a case of identity theft or credit card fraud. Although stringent safeguards may be used there are numerous reports of identity theft concerning credit cards.
While this may simply be a case of the media feeding public paranoia there have been proven cases of people being pursued for payments on credit cards they have never applied for or received.
If credit cards are delivered in your name without you having applied for them, or billing statements are sent to you for a credit card that you do not own or possess, then you may be subject to identity theft and should report it to your local law enforcement agency as well as the company that has sent you the card or statement.
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