Posts Tagged Victims Of Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. The effects of identity theft can be a very hurtful experience that mostly occurs during the important moments of your life. Many victims of identity theft do not even realize that someone or in some cases several people have been violating them by getting access to their personal credit bureau report. Protecting your credit bureau report can easily be achieved by getting a copy of your free triple score from all three credit bureaus.
Your free triple score report will provide you with all the information you have reporting with all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Once you have received your credit bureau report, it is crucial that you do a thorough investigation to make sure that all your information is reporting correctly. If you find that you have been a victim of identity fraud, the best thing to do in that situation is to seek professional legal help through a reputable credit attorney.
It is unfortunate if you find yourself dealing with the situation of having your identity stolen, but there several steps you can take to prevent identity theft before it happens. The first step is to arm yourself with identity protection. Many credit card companies offer identity protection through a small monthly fee on your credit card, but if you have several credit cards, you may want to consider getting a more universal identity protection policy. Getting a universal identity protection policy includes using a company that works hand in hand with the 3 credit bureaus to create a lock on your credit bureau report.
Once you’ve create a lock on your credit report, no one can make any purchases using your information without having to verify some very vital information. To secure yourself even further, it is important to shred all important personal information before disposing of them. Information that should be shredded is bank statements, credit card statements, and anything that shows your Social Security Number.
Another precaution you can take is to never give your Social Security Number over the internet through an unsecured server. One way to find out if the website you are viewing is insecure is by looking at your browser window. All secure internet websites start with https: and not just http:. To make it even safer to surf the internet, you should get virus protection, spyware and a reliable internet explorer like Firefox.
My last recommendation to protection your free triple score report sounds simple enough, but a lot of people fall victim to it everyday; you should never give your Social Security Number over the telephone to a company you do not trust. Unless you have a long lasting relationship with a certain company, it is better to deal in person. If you must give sensitive information over the phone such as banking, try to establish a relationship with one particular individual in that department before you do so.
Each consumer with credit history should obtain a copy of their report annually. The cost of credit reports vary. If obtaining a copy from the credit bureaus, consumers may pay $15 per bureau. However, some online credit agencies advertise low cost credit reports. Rather than paying for a credit report, consider obtaining a free report.
Who Qualifies for a Free Credit Report?
By law, each consumer is entitled to one free credit report each year. Although reports are free, consumer may have to pay a few bucks to view their credit score. Despite this incentive to encourage credit report monitoring, many people neglect to review the contents of their report. This results in millions becoming victims of identity theft each year. Free credit reports are available online, and viewable for up to 30 days. However, other factors may also qualify you for a free credit report.
Credit Report Inaccuracies
If you believe that your credit report contains errors or mistakes, you are a good candidate for a free credit report from each of the three bureaus. The majority of people only review their report from one bureau. However, if the contents on the Experian report are inaccurate, it’s worth obtaining copies of the other three reports to ensure that the same mistake has not occurred twice.
Denied Credit, Employment, or Insurance
Although credit history has nothing to do with your ability to function well on the job or drive a car, many employers, and insurance agencies have begun checking credit reports. In some instance, a negative credit rating may prevent you from obtaining employment, or result in higher car insurance premiums. Individuals who have been denied a line of credit, employment, or insurance because of their credit will qualify for a free report.
Experience a Credit Limit Reduction or Interest Rate Increase
Unfortunately, creditors have the right to reduce credit limits and increase rates at their leisure. If you habitually make late payments or exceed your credit limit, a change in credit card limits and rates should be expected. However, if changes occur for no apparent reason, it helps to obtain a free copy of your report and ensure that all information is accurate.