Oct 31, 2017
We all hit the delete button when we see a plea from a Nigerian emissary promising us big bucks if we’ll just share our bank account number.
Unfortunately, most identity thieves are craftier than the crooks in Nigeria. They use cunning and high-tech methods to steal our most valuable commodity – our identity.
Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information to open accounts, file taxes or make purchases. In 2016, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million Americans (6 percent of the population).
Your first line of defense is to request a free credit report from the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experion and TransUnion. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
Next, consider placing a freeze on your credit report. This will prevent new credit from being opened in your name. Contact each of the three credit agencies online
To stay one step ahead of the identity thieves, make these practices a part of your everyday life:
If you think someone is using your personal information, file a report at www.IdentityTheft.gov.
In September, Equifax reported that a data breach had exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans. To find out if you were affected, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact.
Securing your identity is successful with daily diligence and attention. Don't be a statistic -- takes these steps to keep your ID safe.