Guide 2 Identity Theft - How To Protect Yourself

   
Guide 2 Identity Theft

Books

Shredders

Basic Information
 What is Identity Theft
 How It Happens
 Types of Identity Theft
 Warning Signs

Commercial Identity Theft
 Access Codes

Watch Out For
 Credit Card Risks
 Public Records
 Debit & ATM Cards
 Passports
 Spoofs & Phishing
 Stolen Checks
 Unsolicited Card Offers

Security Tips
 Credit Reporting Agencies
 If Your Identity Is Stolen
 Secure Passwords

Links

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Guide 2 Identity Theft   >   Credit Reporting Agencies

Credit Reporting Agencies


Credit reporting agencies hold a personal credit file about you and you have the right to see it. In some places, this service is available for free, although in others there may be a small administrative fee.

It is a good idea to check your credit file occasionally, especially if you think that you may be exposed to the risk of identity theft. One especially vulnerable time is when you have moved house and your mail deliveries may have gone astray. Accordingly, a check of your file a few months after the date of your move is strongly recommended.

Check your file for activity involving companies with which you know you have had no contact, or for other transactions that you do not recognise. This could indicate that your identity is being misused by someone, especially if you have other indications from elsewhere that something unusual is happening in your affairs for example, if you received a bill for something that you did not buy.

If you have reason to think your credit standing may have been threatened by identity theft, you should advise the credit reporting agencies that you may have been the victim of identity theft fraud. You will probably be asked to give your reasons for thinking that, to help with their investigation. You may also receive guidance on what steps you should take given the nature of the suspected theft.

In the USA, you should issue a fraud alert to the three main credit-reporting agencies the first one you call will probably undertake to issue it on to the others if you ask:- In the UK, the following are the equivalent contacts: A fraud alert ensures that credit and identification checks are made more thoroughly, which may be an inconvenience to you, but which reduce the risk of your identity being successfully stolen.

In the UK, if you suspect your identity is being misused you can also lodge an alert with http://www.cifas.org.uk, which advises its members to take special care about confirming the identification of the applicant including you if your identity is used to obtain credit, open a bank account, apply for state services, etc.

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The information on this site is designed to help you understand the issues and improve your protection. No method of protection can be absolute. We recommend that you keep abreast of the ever-changing issues and do your own research to keep informed.

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