Hearing or reading you are a victim of identity theft are some of the most hurtful words you can hear when it comes to purchasing a home, getting approved for a rewards credit card, and even for employment opportunities, especially when you’ve worked so hard to build your credit.
When identity theft occurs, your credit score will probably drop significantly, and even worse, you may potentially lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars. But, you may wonder, what is identity theft? Identify theft is when someone else steals your personal information such as your social security number, name or bank account, or address for their benefit. There are a couple of ways to protect yourself from identity theft, and both are completely free.
In 2018, President Obama signed into federal law that anyone (in America) could place a free security freeze on their credit through Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. This freeze limits access to your credit file. In turn, you nor anyone else can take our credit in your name. Therefore, it is imperative to know that with security freezes, you will need to lift the security freeze through unfreezing each time you provide permission to have your credit ran.
Luckily through 20 April 2022, we can pull our credit report weekly utterly free of charge through http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. Additionally, the federal government (USA) allows each person to pull their credit report from Equifax, Transunion, and Experian one time per year. Therefore, your credit report is often the first line of defense to prevent and recognize identity theft, and that is why I recommend all WealthSavers pull their credit report at a minimum once per year.
Seeking to better understand your credit report? Our WealthSaver 2022 Planners include tri-annual checklists and templates to help you better understand and file disputes as needed.
If you seek to understand your credit report better, please contact us or book your Master Money Mindset call with an Accredited Financial Counselor.
Fraudsters who commit identity theft want easy access to someone’s personal information as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore, the more you protect yourself, the less likely you will become a victim of identity theft. For more WealthSaver tips tailored just for you, subscribe to our newsletter and check out our WealthSaver Podcast.