It has never been more important than right now to protect your identity. Theft of your personal information almost seems inevitable now, but there are steps you can take today to protect yourself.
Monitor All Your Accounts
Only you know what transactions are unauthorized. You can monitor your credit union accounts and credit cards through online banking, mobile banking, eStatements or your monthly statement. Set up Card Alerts so that you will be informed of all activity on your debit and credit cards to limit fraud attempts. Immediately report unauthorized credit union account activity directly to the credit union at 303.239.1150. If you find unauthorized transaction on your credit card, you can report that activity directly to MasterCard at 1.800.449.7728.
Free Credit Reports
Under federal law you are allowed to request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A great monitoring method is to request a free report every 4 months from one of the three bureaus. You can request these copies by visiting annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1.877.322.8228.
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit
The credit reporting agencies do offer a free fraud alert. A fraud alert will notify lenders that they should take extra steps to confirm your identity. You can set this by calling TransUnion at 1.800.680.7289 to place this alert. TransUnion will then notify the other two credit bureaus on your behalf.
It is an option to place a credit freeze on your credit report, which will block anyone from applying for credit in your name without your permission. The credit freeze does typically have a fee to turn it off so you can apply for credit.
Credit Monitoring or Identity Protection Service
Monitoring services are available and typically alert you when a company checks your credit history, a new loan or a credit card is opened in your name. It is important to note that these services won’t prevent fraud from happening, but it will notify you of the suspicious activity so you can take action against the fraudulent transaction. There will be charges for this service.
Early detection and immediate action is the best way to limit and stop the damage that can be caused when your personal information is fraudulently accessed and used. Review resources provided on the FTC identity theft website at Identitytheft.gov. The FTC maintains a variety of consumer publications providing comprehensive information on computer intrusions and identity theft.
Source: article from CNN.com enhanced by Credit Union of Denver