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Denver-area credit card thieves targeting cars to fund shopping sprees

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Posted at 3:32 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 17:42:12-04

DENVER — Credit card thieves are going on spending sprees across the Denver area. 

Authorities have issued multiple crime alerts over the past month regarding what appears to be a spike in cases. 

Crime Stoppers released the latest alert Friday.

Attached to the bulletin were still images from surveillance video showing a man entering a 7-Eleven at 3495 South Federal Boulevard. 

Police say the man used a stolen credit card to make purchases at the store. 

According to police, the man swiped the card from the victim’s vehicle during a car break-in, which appears to be the most common way thieves are getting their hands on victims’ cards. 

In several posts, Crime Stoppers’ mention theft from vehicle in credit card theft cases it highlights on its Facebook page.

The apparent jump in credit card fraud could be linked to the rise of car break-ins. 

According to crime statistics from the Denver Police Department, there was 7,323 reported theft from motor vehicle cases in 2017, that’s an 11 percent increase from the previous year. 

Police say car break-ins always increase this time of year across the Denver Metro, and it's a reminder to close windows, lock doors and remove valuables from cars.

So, what can you do if your credit card was stolen?

Contact your credit card company
Report the theft to your credit card company immediately. Federal law says you can't be held responsible for charges made after you report the theft. However, you may be responsible for up to $50, but many credit-card companies will waive this liability.

Set-up a fraud alert with credit-reporting companies
Document your credit-card theft with one of the three national credit-reporting companies. Ask for a free fraud alert to be placed on your credit report. The fraud alert lasts for 90 days and entitles you to a free credit report from all three companies.

Transunion: transunion.com
Equifax: equifax.com
Experian: experian.com

Create an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission
Often, after reporting credit-card theft with credit-card companies, there is no follow up with law enforcement. An Identity Theft Report prevents hackers from using your information to open bank accounts or make purchases in your name.

The FTC has even more tips to assist consumers who suspect their financial data has been compromised.