Identity theft help for prevention and victims

Examine Your Credit Report

Free Credit Reports One way to monitor your credit worthiness is through organizations that work with the major reporting agencies. CleanCredit is one such agency that provides copies of reports right over the Internet and can help you repair your credit report. Click their banner below to examine their services.


Free Instant Credit Reports Online

When someone uses your identification (Social Security number, drivers license or bank account) to obtain cash or credit in your name, your credit may be seriously damaged. It may be impossible for you to obtain a job, get a loan, or rent an apartment.

Problems Associated with Identity Theft

Identity theft often results in unpaid bills, delinquent payments, bounced checks, or and overdrawn bank accounts. You typically will not find out about such problems until a credit provider contacts you for payment or you are rejected when you apply for credit.

The first sign of identity theft may be a phone call from a collection agency. Or you may be rejected for a new credit card. All because you now have bad credit. You often will not realize the extent of your credit problems until the situation is quite serious.

Credit Report Monitoring

You can see early warnings of identity theft on your credit report.

You should periodically monitor your credit report. You can use a free credit report service to view and monitor your credit reports. Or, you can pay to obtain them directly from the credit reporting agencies.

Your best defense against errors is to examine your credit report at least once a year. Examining your credit report could allow you to catch an identity thief early and prevent him from destroying your credit.

Errors also include honest mistakes. Inaccurate reports are also caused by data input mistakes. Keying the wrong Social Security number or mixing up similar names are common mistakes. The Public Research Interest Group estimates that 70% of credit reports contain some sort of erroneous information.

To find out how to obtain a copy of your credit report and its cost you can contact the major reporting agencies:

Equifax Credit Reporting Agency
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Telephone: (800) 685-1111
Experian Credit Reporting Agency (formerly TRW)
Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
Telephone: (888)-EXPERIAN(397-3742)
Trans Union Credit Reporting Agency
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
Telephone: (800) 888-4213

Who Add Information to Your Credit Report?

Any organization with which you have financial dealings can submit information about you to the credit bureaus. This is includes banks, utility companies, credit card companies, stores, courthouses from across the country, and home repair providers.

Your credit report contains information such as your Social Security number, current and past addresses, status of your payments on your credit cards and utility bills. It may contain certain legal data such as employment information, courthouse records, liens, and bankruptcy. Also included is a list of credit grantors who have received your credit report.

Who Gets Access to Your Credit Report?

Practically anyone with a legitimate business need can obtain your credit report. This includes:

  • Government agencies required to review credit for issuing licenses or benefit payments
  • Landlords and prospective landlords
  • Employers and prospective employers
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks and other lenders
  • Collection agencies
  • Companies that currently grant or could grant you credit

Identity Theft - How it's done

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. If your are a victim, there are steps you need to take right now. Click on the image below.

Next steps for an identity theft victim


You may be interested in examining the following sites that discuss this subject:

Identity theft victim? Here's how to cope.
Identity theft prevention: Steps you can take.
Identity theft: How it's done, what you need to know.
Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Help Home Page

 

 

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