There is a systemic effort by cyber criminals to hack servers across the broad spectrum of corporate entities. The largest crime field now in the 21st century is identity theft & credit fraud. My previous post touched on this in a different context- online presence. This post is geared to help you secure your credit file from fraud.
Recently, I was a victim of ID theft and credit fraud which resulted in around 30k in charges. Thankfully I became aware of it sooner than later simply because one of the companies that extended credit to these people happened to send me a letter confirming I requested opening an account. Of the others that granted accounts, no one confirmed with me prior to opening these accounts.
It really was my oversight because I had forgotten to do something that I had done previous to moving to Europe. I did not reapply a security freeze on the three credit bureaus as I had done before. I unfroze them, applied for a couple of cards and then thinking I was okay now that I was back in the States, left them open.
Big mistake. I can tell you it has been a waste of my time having to deal with this. Stressful would be a better word. And this is what fraud says to you- ‘I can fuck up your life.’
First thing you need to do is put a security freeze on your credit file. You can do this by contacting each of the three credit reporting bureaus. For a fee of $10 (sometimes free if you are a victim of fraud) they will freeze your account so no one can check your credit or open new credit. You will be given a PIN number so that when you do want to apply for credit like a mortgage. lease or card, you can simply unlock it. I recommend that you unlock it once a year for a week to ten days. During that time, if you are looking to get credit (car, card or house) apply for these things during that week. After which, lock it back up and wait another year to do it again if need be.
Even if you don’t have credit cards, lock up your file anyway so no one can open credit in your name. Better to be safe than sorry.
You can download the info given to me by the police that tells you everything you need to do to file a report if ID theft/ credit theft does occur. Other than whatever local or county law enforcement in your area that you need to file a report with, all information is current.
TWO RELATED ITEMS REGARDING THIS
From director Michael Mann –http://blackhat.legendary.com/