It’s Free! It is now free to freeze your credit with all 3 credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
AARP did a survey in Massachusetts, only 13% of those who had fraudulent charges on their credit card took action. Many feel overwhelmed with all the security breaches occurring at companies holding sensitive data. They feel it is inevitable they will have their identity stolen.
Don’t Give In! Thieves won’t exert extra effort to hack your identity. They will go for the low-lying fruit- don’t let it be yours. – Freeze your credit.
A credit freeze is the best way to stop hackers from opening new lines of credit in your name. A credit freeze locks your files with a PIN. New credit can only be approved when the PIN is temporarily lifted from your account.
In order to be secure, you must freeze your credit at all three of the big credit bureaus. This can be done online or over the phone.
Equifax- www.Equifax.com – 1-888-548-7878
Experian- www.Experian.com – 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion- www.TransUnion.com – 1-800-916-8800
This is a relatively easy process. You do need to put your PIN for each credit bureau in a secure place. New credit can only be approved when the PIN is temporarily lifted from the account. Ask the creditor which bureau they use and lift the freeze for only 1 bureau.
If you visit the websites, don’t get drawn into their credit protection program for a fee. You don’t want notification after a breach has occurred. You want to prevent it. Yes, they may cover costs of restoring your identity but so do most homeowner policies.
A credit freeze won’t prevent an existing credit card from being used fraudulently. You will need to report the fraudulent use to have charges removed. You will also need to have a new credit card issued. These steps are minor to correcting Identity theft. That is a painful disruptive process that can take months to correct.
Take preventive measures- Freeze your credit!