Opening a store credit card in someone else’s name without their consent is fraud, and the CFPB is warning consumers that this type of illegal activity is on the rise. According to a CFPB blog, older consumers are receiving store credit cards in the mail after refusing an offer to apply for the card at the store or over the phone.
How could this happen? Some vulnerable consumers may have shared their personal information, including Social Security numbers, without knowing the cashier could use it to open a store credit card without their permission.
The CFPB is reminding consumers to never share their social security numbers unless they intend to apply for new credit. Additionally, the bureau is encouraging consumers who may have been affected by this type of fraud to: cancel their unauthorized credit cards; report the fraud to the credit bureaus and dispute any inaccurate information on a credit report; consider fraud alerts or security freezes; and submit a complaint by contacting the credit card company.
To learn more, visit the CFPB’s website.