And how to combat it!
There’s a lot to be careful about these days, and the best way to take preventative action is to educate yourself on the ways identity theft occurs. Here are a few links we think are helpful for doing just that.
- Fakechecks.org is a preventative site where you can learn about some of the major scams hitting the market today.
- Visa.com offers plenty of advice and helps you assess your risk of common scams.
- ITRC is a site dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft. The ITRC provides victim and consumer support as well as public education.
Ways to Protect Yourself
Watching your credit report for suspicious activity can save you from years of hardship that can result if your identity is stolen and your credit abused.
Get a copy of your credit report
A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles all individuals living in the United States to a free credit report, at their request, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
To order your free annual report from one or all of the national credit bureaus, click here ; call toll-free 1-877-322-8228; or visit ftc.gov/credit to print and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348.
If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft
You may want to contact the three major credit bureaus:
Equifax: 1-800-685-1111; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian: 1-800-682-7654; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800; www.transunion.com; P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022