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Each year, approximately 10% of United States citizens are victimized by identity theft.
With so many victims of identify theft each year, we have to ask the question...
What steps can you take to help prevent becoming another victim of ID Theft?
Monitor Your Credit
If you do not already do so, you should be checking your credit report at least once a year. You want to look for any unauthorized activity associated with you. This could be new credit card accounts that you did not request, or even unauthorized cell phone accounts.
You can use 3rd party companies such as ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT.
You can also contact each of the 3 credit reporting bureaus individually:
Consider A Credit Freeze
A credit freeze is a service that is offered free of charge to victims of ID Theft (with a police report). If you have not been a victim of ID Theft, you can purchase this service for $10, but you will need to do this with each of the 3 credit reporting bureaus for a total cost of $30. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind. This is a good option if you do not foresee opening any new credit accounts in the near future, including; mortgages, car loans, cell phone plans, and credit cards.
Beware that if you obtain a credit freeze, even YOU will not be able to open any new accounts under your name without first "thawing" your credit. Depending on the type of account you are trying to open, you may need to pay the $10 thawing fee to only one credit reporting agency, or you may have to pay the $10 fee to each one of them.
Want to learn more? Visit our Resources tab to get more ID Theft Information.