Thursday, October 18, 2007

Deep Freeze Your Credit to Protect Your Identity

Because I am so passionate on this topic, I wanted to share my post today from Productivity @ Home. You wouldn't leave the door to your family home unlocked and wide open to predators, so don't leave your family finances unprotected.

This recent article from CNN Money brings more good news for those of us fighting the war against the growing problem of identity theft. For anyone who is about to tune out and think, "That will never happen to me...", let me beg you to take steps to thoroughly protect your credit and identity. As a victim of identity theft last Spring, I am still sorting out the details that left my credit a complete disaster. I thought I was sufficiently protected - I was wrong.

In her article Putting a Freeze on Credit, author Gerri Willis reports that by year's end consumers in all fifty states will have the option to place a "security freeze" on their credit. These freezes essentially place a lock on your credit, requiring you to call in with a PIN and ID prior to the approval of new credit. You would not believe how easy it truly is for someone to assume your identity and immediately accrue thousands of dollars of debt in your name without any challenge. While there is a charge for freezing and unfreezing your credit when you apply for new accounts, the charge is minimal in relation to the time and money it takes to retrieve your credit once it has been compromised.

As long as I'm on this topic, I would strongly recommend that every family invest in some form of credit monitoring. Had I known what a hassle I would have to live through as a victim of this crime, I would never have objected to the monthly fee.

Do some homework today regarding your state's options for freezing credit and consider it time well spent!

1 comment:

JK said...

I am looking to put a credit freeze not because of an ID theft experience or near-experience but rather because when I went for my free credit report I was asked to supply the information in writing since for some reason my on-line application was not accepted. Despite several follow-ups on line and by mail I have received no response and am left with the nagging anxiety that all my personal information is floating around somewhere.

The best way to find out how to freeze is to google your state name and the expression 'credit freeze'. the new jersey website is very informative http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/finance/creditfreeze.htm