Tip #1: Watch for signs that your personal information is being misused.
Examples to look out for include receiving bills former, being denied a loanword or credit line, being contacted by debt collectors, or receiving credit cards you did not apply for or trade or services you did not leverage .
Tip #2: Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file.
Fraud alerts tell potential creditors that they should take special precautions to verify the identity of the applicant. Remember that you may find it more difficult to get modern credit while there is a imposter alarm on your recognition file. You may place a 90-day “ initial imposter alert ” on your file by calling any one of the three countrywide consumer report companies at their designated toll-free numbers ( listed below ). The company you call will inform the other two companies. If you are an identity larceny victim and submit an identity larceny report like a police report, you can place an “ elongated ” seven-year alert on your charge .
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
If an initial alert is on a credit file, creditors must use reasonable policies and procedures to verify the identity of the person requesting citation, including calling the consumer at a telephone total designated on the fraud alert. If an run alarm is on a recognition file, the creditor must contact the consumer at the telephone count designated on the extended alert.
Reading: Tips to Monitor Your Identity
When you place a fraud alert with one of the three credit coverage companies, you will receive data about ordering one free credit report from each of the three companies.
Tip #3: Check your credit report.
You can ordering it online at hypertext transfer protocol : //www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling toll barren 1-877-322-8228, or by writing Annual Credit Report Request Service, Box 105281, Atlanta GA 30384-5281.
once you receive your credit report, review it for leery activity such as inquiries from companies you did not contact, accounts you did not open, and unexplained charges on accounts. Check that other information such as your address, date of give birth or employer, is correct .
Tip #4: Consider a credit “freeze“.
recognition freezes prohibit anyone from accessing your credit history. You will need a PIN if you have frozen your citation file, and would have received it when you foremost requested that your credit history be frozen. If a credit freeze is in place, it is improbable that creditors would open a new account because they ca n’t determine the credit-worthiness of the applicant. As you must unfreeze your credit file before applying for citation or other services that require accessing your credit history, such as opening a modern cellular telephone account or applying for a new job, identity thief nor the actual consumer would be able to get credit while a freeze is in effect. Some states restrict the right to freeze a credit rating file to identity larceny victims – people whose information has been misused either to create newfangled accounts or prosecute in early identity-related fraud. other states allow anyone to freeze their credit file. Almost all states that have freeze laws require that a freeze be free for identity larceny victims, but some states make a freeze available to any consumer for a tip that typically ranges from $ 10 to $ 15. Almost all states impose a tip for “ unblock ” the report when a consumer is seeking some credit related transaction. If you choose to put a credit freeze in place, you will have to contact each of the three consumer report companies .
Tip #5: What should you do if you become a victim of identity theft?
- File a complaint with your local police;
- If you have chosen the credit protection offered, call the Experian’s National Consumer Assistance Center at https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html or 1-888-397-3742. They post an initial security alert on your credit file that allows creditors to notify you if there is a request to confirm your identity before extending credit. Submit your police report to Experian who employs special system procedures and matching criteria to ensure that fraudulent data is removed within 45 days of receipt;
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at http://www.ftc.gov or 1-877-438-4338. The FTC website also has step-by-step instructions on other measures to take, including an ID Theft Affidavit that consumers can use when disputing unauthorized accounts; and
- Notify the Privacy Office so that we can try to determine any linkage between this event and the misuse of your identity.