(CBS) — It can be devastating: your personal financial information getting into the wrong hands. Cyber criminals can ruin your credit, making it difficult to buy a house or car.
But CBS 2’s Jim Williams learned, not everyone takes action even after the fraud’s been discovered.
Chauncey Daspit says he continually monitors his financial statements.
“When that doesn’t add up in my head, that’s when I say, ok, let’s look deeper,” said Daspit.
For many online consumers, like Daspit, “looking deeper” means searching for evidence of fraud, such as purchases they didn’t make and identity theft.
When Daspit sees it, he’s on the phone.
“It would be something I’d have to do,” Daspit said.
But according to the National Consumers League, not everyone is as vigilant a finding that stunned Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who’s made fighting cybercrime a priority.
“I’m shocked to hear that people actually don’t seem to do anything once they find out they’ve been a victim of fraud,” Madigan said.
The NCL says its research shows one in three victims of fraud takes no action to correct it.
“I think some consumers simply have too much going on in their lives sometimes and they don’t know they steps they need to take,” said John Breyault of the NLC.
Step one, consumer advocates say, is to freeze your credit.
“You can lift it if you need it. In the meantime, if anyone has stolen your identity that they cannot get credit under your name,” said Sally Greenberg.
By freezing your credit, your credit report won’t be released without your consent.
Despite some tough laws in Illinois, Chicagoans are among the nation’s prime targets for cyber criminals who operate around the world.
If you’re the victim of fraud, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has other suggestions on its website.