How to Save Money and Protect Your Identity from theft - FREE Carroll County, MD
Don’t waste hundreds of dollars a year depending on someone else to monitor your credit for you. Lifelock’s ultimate service is $29.99 per month or $329.89 annually. Did you know LifeLock agreed to settle charges with the FTC and 35 state attorneys general for false claims? Is your identity safe with them?
Identity theft is when someone takes your personal information, or your child's personal information, without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft.
Personal information such as your:
- social security number
- credit card number
- date of birth
With your personal information thieves can open new credit and or bank accounts, divert your mail to a new address and then not pay the bills. That’s why a critical step is checking your credit report at minimum once a year. Avoid Identity theft by monitoring your accounts and restricting personal information.
Protect yourself for FREE! Contact the 3 credit bureaus and tell them you don't want credit established without contacting you first. Parents can, should do the same for minor children. Thieves know no boundaries, they look for vulnerable targets. Why not share this information with the seniors in your life too?
If you think that someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage. Here are three things to do immediately:
• First, contact one of the three nation-wide credit reporting companies and ask for a fraud alert on your credit report. The company you call has to let the other two credit reporting companies know. A fraud alert is a roadblock for a thief who wants to open more credit in your name.
• Second, order copies of your credit reports and read them carefully. Report any mistakes to the credit reporting companies.
• Third, create an Identity Theft Report. It can help you get fraudulent information off your credit report, stop a company from collecting debts caused by the theft, and help you get information about any accounts a thief opened in your name.
To get an Identity Theft Report: Contact the FTC online or by phone and file a complaint. That becomes an FTC Affidavit. Then, take the affidavit to the police department and file a police report. And then, attach your FTC Affidavit to your police report and presto – you’ve got an Identity Theft Report.
You can also call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
Minimize the risk of Identity theft by:
- Before you reveal any personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared with others.
- Pay attention to your bills and credit card statements. If your bills don't arrive on time, contact your creditor. A missing credit card bill might mean that the identity thief has changed your billing address and is using your account.
- Guard your mail from thieves. Pick up your mail as soon as possible. Place outgoing mail in post office collection boxes.
- Do Not give out personal information over the phone, email or through the mail unless you have initiated the contact and know with whom you are dealing. Thieves may pose as bankers, government officials or others to get you to reveal your social security number or bank account number.
- Keep items with personal information safe. When you throw away receipts, credit card applications, and old checks or bank statements, make sure to shred them.
- When you make up your PIN for your credit, atm or debit card don’t uses something a thief might guess such as a birth date, social security number, phone number or house number.
- Order a copy of your credit report at least once per year. Catch mistakes and fraud before they ruin your personal finances.
Remember, if you think that someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage.
I hope you have found this information beneficial. Take care of you.
Source Federal Trade Commission
Avoid Identity theft - Protect Yourself for FREE Carroll County, MD