On average investment fraud schemes cost Americans tens of billions of dollars annually. Like most you probably think that this would never happen to you. Yet you hear about identity theft every day on TV and the radio. So, what are some easy steps you can do to protect yourself? Below are some of the actions one should certainly consider.
You will need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian -- by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Make a reminder on your calendar to check one report every four months. This way you can get them every year for free.
This in turn will restrict access to your credit report. By doing this it will make it more difficult for thieves to steal your identity. Against common misconceptions freezing your credit does not keep you from opening a new account, apply for a new job or applying to rent an apartment. But if you wish to do any of these you will need to temporally lift your freeze. The cost differs from state to state and the time frame also varies. An important note is to make sure you do not lose your password to lift the freeze. If you do lose the password, it could take days to get through the system to setup a new password.