Has your identity been stolen?
In 2006, 15 million people had there identity stolen. That’s 28 people every minute and about one ever 2 seconds. What’s even worse 91% of those that have been vitamized do not see an end to the thefts. What is most surprising is that around 50% of Americans say they don’t know how to protect themselves if they did get there identity stolen.
This is a big problem.
You may be saying it’ll never happen to me. Well here is a good story to illustrate how quick this can happen to you. A friend of mine was in Walmart one day just picking up some essentials for around the house they needed. Well as she went to check out supposedly a man was able to memorize the numbers off of there card as they pulled it out to pay. Without them even realizing it they left Walmart without knowing what had happened.
A half hour later as they were on there way home they received a phone call. It was there credit card company. There credit card company asked if they had made any recent purchases at Walmart. They both agreed. The company then ask if they made in Las Vegas or Norway.
Of course they didn’t, but look how long it took them to use there identity. Within one half hour there card had been reportedly used in Las Vegas and Norway along with a few thousand dollars racked up on it.
It can happen that fast.
How can you prevent identity theft?
Your identity is a precious thing. If lost it could do some damaging things like draining the money from your bank or brokerage accounts, charging up your credit cards, or worse destroying your credit.
So you might be wondering what can you do to solve this issue. Well if you have been a identity theft victim you may have heard what is called a credit freeze. A credit freeze will lock all of your credit and prevent anyone from destroying it or creating more credit behind your back. If you are constantly worried about people who want to steal your credit freezing it can be a simple solution.
So you may be wondering if you could unfreeze your credit after it has been frozen. The answer is yes. This is what is called a credit thaw. In fact this in some states you can do this right over the Internet which may take around 15 minutes to freeze or thaw.
Although it don’t take long to do there is a fee every time you freeze or thaw your credit. The fees are different in every state for example in Ohio it cost $5 per freeze per credit bureau which would be $15 and it would be $15 to thaw your credit for all three bureaus. The freeze will stay in effect until you decide to change it.
However if you are an identity theft victim the fee is waved and the fee to obtain a copy of your second credit report will be free as well. However you must remember to apply for credit or a loan you must thaw your credit.
If you would like to learn more about your states freeze and thaw laws and what it would cost you to freeze or thaw your credit check out this website.
Lastly if you have your credit frozen and you would like to access your credit report this will still be avalible to you if you wish. Just because it is frozen doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to access this.
- Experian phone number 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion phone number 1-800-685-1111
- Equifax phone number 1-888-909-8872
Finally, have you frozen your credit or don’t you worry about it so much? What are your thoughts on the subject?