December 9, 2014

City Launches Two Consumer Protection Campaigns on Credit Fraud

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Educates the Public of Free Ways to Fix Credit Reports and Tools to Research Reporting Agencies

Mika Stambaugh
Director of Public Information    312.744.5365

As the holiday season approaches, more people will be using their credit cards. To help consumers stay safe, the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) has launched two consumer protection campaigns to ensure consumers know their rights when it comes to their credit report and ways to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

“The City of Chicago protects consumers from fraud by resolving complaints and taking action against fraudulent businesses,” said Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. “We also take a proactive approach by promoting consumer awareness through educational campaigns to help people protect themselves and their credit.”

The dual campaign is made up of Know Your Credit Report and Know How to Fix Your Credit Report.

Know Your Credit Report informs consumers:

  • About the information that may be contained in their report,
  • That they are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months,
  • On how to deal with bad credit,
  • On activating a fraud alert on accounts.

Know How to Fix Your Credit Report brings awareness to:

  • What credit repair companies are required to provide,
  • What credit repair cannot do,
  • Consumer protection tips,
  • Seeking reputable credit counseling assistance,
  • Disputing inaccurate information on your credit report.

The campaign also provides contact information for several organizations that can help with credit issues, which includes calling 311 and filling a complaint with Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

To minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft during black Friday and this holiday season, follow these basic guidelines:

  • If you are asked to disclose personal information, ask the requester how the information will be used and if they will share your information with anyone else.
  • Know when your mail gets delivered and pick it up as soon as possible. Consider purchasing a secure mailbox that is difficult for thieves to gain access to. Never allow your mail to build up while you are out of town.
  • Know when your bills are due to arrive. If they are late, contact your creditors.
  • Keep your personal information and all items containing your personal information (such as account statements, receipts, and forms) in a secure location. When you no longer need these items, tear them up before throwing them away.
  • Leave your Social Security card in a safe place. Do not disclose your Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Only carry the identification and credit cards you need. Leave the rest in a secure location.

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection ensures a fair and vibrant market place for both businesses and consumers. BACP licenses businesses and public vehicles, provides free business education and access to resources, enforces the Municipal Code, and protects consumers from fraud. Learn more about BACP at


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