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Credit Freeze And Identity Theft

Oct 13, 2007
Have you been the victim of identity theft? Do you have concerns that someone may get your credit information without your authorization?

Identity theft is worse than anything that you will go through. Months, in some cases years of problems because someone else used your identity to obtain all kinds of things, from clothing to trips around the world. All of this because someone, somewhere easily opened an account using your information. There are ways of protecting yourself from identity theft...but which ones really work?

A credit freeze is your best protection against identity theft and credit fraud. Currently there are 39 states with laws that allow residents and victims of identity theft the option to freeze their credit (some will not be effective until 2008 or 2009). This means if someone tries to use your information on an application to obtain credit, even if that "someone" is you, the application will be denied and no credit will be issued.

The laws concerning credit freezing vary by state. There are some states that do not have any laws allowing for credit freeze, then others that specifically require that you already be a victim of identity theft in order to have a credit freeze placed on your file and then others that allow anyone that is a resident of their state to pay a small fee to have a freeze placed on their account.

To have a credit freeze placed on your account, you must contact each credit bureau and ask what information that they will require from you in order to place a credit freeze on your account. If you are married, then you and your spouse will need to send in separate letters (send only certified letters). Generally, you will need to provide your full name, date of birth, social security number and residence for the past 5 years. If you qualify for a credit freeze then within a couple of weeks you will receive a PIN number from the credit bureaus.

You always have the ability to lift the credit freeze temporarily by logging into the credit bureau websites and entering your PIN, or you can provide your PIN to a potential lender if you are applying for credit. If this becomes too much of a hassle for you, you can request a permanent removal of the freeze.

Take action now and don't be a victim. A credit freeze on your file is the best way to protect yourself from identity theft.
About the Author
Author & internet entrepreneur Bernard Pragides offers expert advice & tips regarding identity theft. Learn more about identity theft & fraud by visiting his identity theft blog and his website http://www.IdentityProtek.com for more helpful info.
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