Archive for July, 2009
Although it takes a bit more work, the credit freeze is a very important aspect of protecting your identity. When you implement a credit freeze you prevent:
- New credit cards from being opened in your name
- New store credit (such as Lowe’s or Sears) from being obtained
- New mortgages from being applied for and/or apartments from being rented in your name
To implement a credit freeze with the credit bureaus, send certified letters to:
- Experian Security Freeze, POB 9554, Allen, TX 75013
- Equifax Security Freeze, POB 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348
- TransUnion Consumer Protection Center, POB 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
In the letter, state your full name, address, Social Security Number, and indicate that you want to place a “SECURITY FREEZE” on your file. You also need to enclose a copy of a government issued ID, such as a driver’s license or military ID, as well as a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, or insurance statement.
Each state may charge a fee to “unfreeze” your credit file in the event you wish to buy a car, purchase a house, open a new line of credit, etc.
Visit the following Web sites to verify what each credit bureau demands by state:
Call us at 310.831.4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about credit freezes.
Welcome to the Identity Advocate! Take a second to bookmark this blog. You’ll be glad you did. We’ll be regularly blogging about identity theft, medical identity theft, and healthcare fraud to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on these growing threats.
With identity thieves getting craftier every day and healthcare fraud increasing at an alarming rate, you need an advocate who is passionate about helping you safeguard your personal and professional information.
As we launch our new site, we’d like to start by giving you five identity theft protection tips you can start using today.
Five Easy Ways to Prevent Your Identity From Being Stolen
1. Don’t believe every email you read. Banks, Social Security, and credit card companies will NEVER email you to verify information or say your account has been compromised. Clicking on the link in the email will take you to a hijacked Web site whose only purpose is to get your personal information and passwords.
2. Implement a credit freeze every 90 days. Although the terms vary from state to state, credit freezes are important to prevent someone from starting a new account in your name.
3. Use secure passwords that employ letters and numbers. A favorite strategy is to use a Bible verse. After all, how many verses are there and who would guess which one?
4. As an employer or a patient, you want to know whether a background check has been performed on all new hires. If someone is in debt or has bad credit, they are more likely to steal office information or patient information to sell or use for themselves. A comprehensive background check will report whether the person has been convicted of a crime either locally or nationally.
5. Protect what’s in your wallet. Photocopy the front and back of all the contents in your wallet, including credit cards, healthcare cards, and even store credit cards.
This is only the beginning. Check back often for identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention news and advice. Next time we’ll explore some of the most costly medical identity theft scams.
In the meantime, don’t forget to sign-up for our mailing list to get “10 Tips to Safeguard Your Identity.
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