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ITRC: Millions In Bogus Charges -- Could Some Be Yours?

Offers consumers three tips
(San Diego, CA – July 1, 2010) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just halted an elaborate scheme which resulted in more than $10 Million in bogus charges on consumer credit and debit cards. How could an organized international ring get away without notice by consumers? The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) believes many bills are being paid blindly, without confirming each transaction.

In many households, one person handles paying the bills for the family, while two or more people may be using the same credit or debit card account. It’s easy for a small charge to fall through the cracks. Would you question a small $10-20 charge for a purchase from a company you don’t recognize but sounds familiar? These criminals depended upon consumers failing to verify each charge. They purposely kept the charges small, so as to not bring attention to their crime. Over four years, these small amounts added up to hundreds of dollars per credit or debit card, and a $10 million windfall for the ring.

Consumer Tips: -- When reviewing monthly statements check off each item as you confirm and verify each transaction. If there is a discrepancy, immediately report it to your credit card company or financial institution.

-- Check your accounts frequently and question any purchase you do not recognize.

-- Implement a system of tracking purchases that works for your family. For instance, everyone might put the receipts in one basket or drawer to facilitate tracking purchases.

About the ITRC The Identity Theft Resource Center' (ITRC) is a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft. Visit Victims may contact the ITRC at 888-400-5530.

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Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading