A credit report freeze, sometimes called a "credit lock" is a large piece of the puzzle when trying to protect your financial identity. The majority of identity theft here in the United States has been perpetuated through the use of sophisticated online data stealing techniques but also, the postal mailbox is still a threat to unsuspecting consumers.
If protecting your financial identity is of primary concern, a credit freeze is suggested and can be done with little or no money. This is where your diligence in a few key areas will have a great impact on your identity. Here is a footprint for you to follow so you can put your mind at ease as it relates to your financial identity.
Freeze Your Credit Identity. To get information on how to perform a credit freeze, simply read the information as it pertains to your state and contact the three large credit report bureaus as instructed.
Understand the process of unfreezing. If you are like the majority of Americans, you only need to have a credit report run at few intervals in your life. Purchasing a car, getting a mortgage are done fairly infrequently. There are have been testimonials of people who have their credit "unfrozen" in less than two days and others, three weeks. Request information from the reporting bureaus of how long this process will take when anticipating credit needs.
Shred all extraneous financial papers. As soon as you are through with your credit card statements, bank statements and the like, shred them. If you think you may need a statement in a couple of years for some remote reason, remember the bank has that information on microfiche. If you enjoy keeping statements, file them away as soon as they enter he house.
Review all bank and credit card statements. If there are any irregularities, report them to the appropriate institution at once. Consumers have certain financial rights which will protect a person if they act immediately on theft issues.
A credit report freeze will prevent institutions from having access to your personal files and people will not be able to open up credit card accounts using your name and social security. Even though other parts of your identity may be stolen, your financial records will be relatively safe.
A credit report freeze will not stop an illegal immigrant from using your name and social security number in a hospital or a criminal from giving your name and address to the police but, with a bit of research, personal identity theft can be minimized by getting a very inexpensive umbrella product which will help you in the event your personal identification is misused.
Resources such as Securenet will help you in the event your personal identity is stolen or taken without your authorization. Being prepared for life's untimely events will reduce the chance of you and your family becoming victimized.
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