Identity theft protection – you can do it!

You’ve probably seen ads offering “identity protection” services. In fact, nobody can guarantee you won’t experience identity theft. Those services offer identity monitoring and repair — things you can do yourself, for free.

Concern about identity theft has spawned many companies that watch information sources — most notably, your credit report — for signs that an identity thief may be using your personal information to get loans, open credit card accounts, or otherwise cause financial havoc. You can pay them to alert you to possible trouble, or simply keep watch yourself.

If you’re open to being a do-it-yourselfer, here are some free and low-cost alternatives to buying identity theft protection services:

  • Check your credit reports for free. Your credit reports usually will show if an identity thief opens, or tries to open, an account in your name. Federal law requires each of the three major credit bureaus to give you a free credit report each year at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports.
  • Place a credit freeze on your reports. A credit freeze blocks anyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission. Because potential creditors can’t check your files, a freeze generally stops identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name.
  • Review your monthly credit card, bank, retirement, and other account statements for transactions you didn’t authorize. Better yet, log in to check them more frequently.
  • Keep an eye on your mailbox. If you’re not getting bills, benefits checks, or other mail you’re expecting, or if you get bills for items you didn’t buy, it could be a sign that an identity thief is at work.
  • Review benefits statements you get from your health insurance providers, and immediately tell your insurers and medical providers if you see treatments you never received.

What if you find an identity thief has struck? You can get free recovery help at IdentityTheft.gov. You can report identity theft to the FTC and get a personal recovery plan that:

  • walks you through each recovery step
  • tracks your progress and adapts to your changing situation
  • pre-fills letters and forms for you to send to credit bureaus, businesses, debt collectors, and the IRS

IdentityTheft.gov has recovery plans for more than 30 types of identity theft, including child identity theft and tax-related identity theft.

To learn more about your identity theft protection options, read the FTC’s recently updated article, Identity Theft Protection Services.

Comments

My bass of my account. or my accest code. Of the bank. how can i claim.

My husband and I put a freeze on our credit 10 years ago. We had to pay for it but now it can be done on line for free. One of the best things we have ever done. Not only does it help to protect you it also stops all those credit card offers from coming in the mail. We averaged at least one a day.

Thank you

I don't live there anymore but the one who stole my life does.

I need to recover my email account somebody change my status and identity

I called the FTC, I called transunion, NONE of the BANKS like WFFNB or WFB or Comenity, or ONE insurance GERCB, NO COMPANY DOES WHAT THEY OFFER. AND ON TOP OF IT, THE PHONE COMPANIES CONTINUE TO DIVERSE MY LIFE WITH NO REGUARD FOR THE TRUTH THEY POINTED OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Please let me know if anyone tries to get my information thank you

You can watch for warning signs of identity theft.

If you see signs of identity theft, or if your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, you can take steps  to help protect yourself from identity theft.

YEARS ago~having my SS# stolen in a COURT ROOM, i put a freeze on all my account. I then again, after being a BURN SURVIVOR was robbed by my nurses' aide and SHE took my MEDICARE card, which is the same as your SS#. IT IS REALLY A PAIN to get a credit report OR open a new charge card BUT i would be SO MUCH MORE VULNERABLE W/O this "Freeze".

I suggest anyone w/good credit do the same! I ALWAYS "THOUGHT' i was protecting myself; but 3 weeks ago, my son & i had an appt w/the IRS. Everything was fine! But the day before-ironically-i received a phone call supposedly from the IRS. IT was just so coincidental that THEY almost got me. HE "claimed" to be the IRS saying i owed 5 thousand something dollar SINCE 2005.AND THAT IF I DIDN'T SEND IT N-O-W, HE was sending the sheriff to put my in jail for 48 hours! I PANICKED. But then i realized IF it were the IRS-and i owed them $ for 14 years (and lived at the same address all these years) THEY would have contacted me! ALSO, the fact that i am a BURN SURVIVOR-no longer employable DUE to these injuries; my income of SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY makes me not required to file taxes, as my income IS so low! I then came to my senses & turned the table on him. I said i would send a check & asked the address. He gave me an address in South Carolina. I am old enough to have FILED plenty of tax returns and never heard of S.C being an address where East Coasters send their returns. I reported him to the local sheriff online; and "these people" started then texting me. When i sent texts back, i received a message saying i "was sending texts to a land-line" and would be charged $25.00 per text! I am telling you~unless you have your "wits" about YOU at all times-it is easy to see HOW/WHY so many are scammed! They are really good & smart these "SCAMMERS". Usually It's FOLKS IN YOUR (MY) EVERY DAY WORLD THAT SCAM YOU! AND WHY I RARELY ANSWER THE PHONE UNLESS I KNOW WHO IS CALLING. BUT I DO WANT TO MENTION I AM BEING SUED W/AN EMAIL BETWEEN MY SURGEON & myself. Reported to the A.G of NYS who said there was nothing they can do to a private individual. I am curious to see HOW THE COURT HANDLES THIS! As there can be repercussions for them! THE COURT. And it seems only the guilty are protected. thanks though & STAY VIGILANT FOLKS! PeAcE ~insist on it!

AFTER TYPING & SUBMITTING MY COMMENT -THIS SITE SAID THE "CAPTCHA session reuse attack detected" DOES THIS MEAN CURRENTLY I AM HACKED? TALK ABOUT IDENTITY FRAUD!

please help

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