Saturday, April 1, 2017
What You Need to Know About Identity Theft
How Will I Know If I Am a Victim of Identity Theft?
- READ YOUR BILLS – search for charges you did not buy that may indicate identity theft.
- WATCH YOUR BANK STATEMENTS – any withdrawals you did not make?
- CHECK YOUR MAIL – getting a new bill you did not know about?
- GET YOUR CREDIT REPORT – are there accounts you don’t recognize?
- HAS YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION REPLACED YOUR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD?
What Can I Do?
- Obtain your free credit report on a regular basis to check for fraud.
- Request an extended fraud alert.
- If a child, you can freeze/lock your child’s credit and obtain his report.
- Request a free copy of your medical records if medical information, such as diagnoses, procedure codes, and health insurance info, has been stolen.
- You have the right to an attorney before you sign legal papers.
- If you are offered credit checks, they are free on creditkarma.com.
- Dispute errors in your credit report.
How Can I Get a Free Credit Report?
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. This not only helps you increase awareness of possible identity theft, it helps you monitor how you are affecting your own credit. You can request all three reports at once or space them out throughout the year. Requests can be made to:
- ONLINE: creditkarma.com (app available for smartphone) – provides free credit score and free credit report
- ONLINE: annualcreditreport.com
- PHONE: 877-322-8228
- MAIL: Complete the Annual Credit Request Form (attached) and mail to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If your identity is stolen, Flora Templeton Stuart’s law firm recommends monitoring your credit on a regular basis for potential abnormalities. Unfortunately, repair of compromised credit may not prevent future harm.
VISIT WWW.USA.GOV/CREDIT-REPORTS FOR MORE INFORMATION.
*Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice. This does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm.