The Equifax security breach has left 143 million Americans at risk of identity theft. Personal information such as Social Security numbers, addresses and birth dates could potentially be used against millions of individuals. To safeguard yourself from identity theft, you can receive free credit monitoring until November 21, 2017. While Equifax is just one of three credit bureaus, it is important to monitor and protect credit reports with other creditors. To provide credit protect, credit reports can be frozen to prevent a scammer from opening a new credit line.
When monitoring a credit report, review the credit history of yourself and your children. Look closely at any credit accounts you do not recognize or anything that is misspelled. Carefully examine credit card and bank account reports for any unrecognizable purchases. Scammers with your credit card or bank account numbers often make small purchases before purchasing more expensive items. While monitoring all your open accounts, it’s vital to report any unauthorized charges immediately to your bank. If a fraudulent charge is found, your credit card may need to be canceled.
While monitoring your credit remains the utmost importance, there are other ways to protect yourself from identity theft by being proactive. Identity theft can be prevented before it happens by changing account passwords to avoid a potential threat. Protect yourself from scams by not providing any personal information. Such steps as shredding documents with personal information and switching to electronic billing can eliminate mail theft. During tax season, file taxes early and receive an identity protection PIN provided by the IRS to ensure no fake tax returns can be filed in your name.
If you are impacted by the security breach, find out from the Equifax website if your personal information is compromised. Although the government can guide you on identity theft recovery, Freedom Debt Relief can also help with debt consolidation. Since 2002, the company has helped thousands find relief from medical bills and credit card debt. Receiving an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, debt consolidation could help anyone with unsecured debts to become debt free.
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