Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Identity Theft Prevention Fall Tune Up

With Labor Day almost upon us, this is a time of
the year when summer vacations are mostly done and the
kids are starting back to school.

It's also a time of the year, however, when identity
thieves become even more active. Knowing parents and
students will be busy working to fill out last minute
forms requesting personal information, now is an
important time to guard against id theft by utilizing
two simple strategies.

We've learned last Fall of identity theft rings which
place phone calls to un-suspecting consumers
requesting the social security number (SSN) of the
student to "complete our school records". Be wary of
these calls and always call the school back directly.
Most legitimate institutions have no reason to request
that sensitive personal information over the phone.

But, verify your existing credit and personal
information is correct and does not show any evidence
of prior identity theft or fraud.

A quick and very cost effective way to do this is to
simply order the free credit report you are entitled
by the FACT Act. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act (FACT Act) consumers can request and
obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from
each of the three nationwide consumer credit
reporting companies.

As such, there exists only one service authorized by
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for this purpose
.

That service known as AnnualCreditReport.com can be
reached via their website or through their toll free
phone line at 1-877-322-8228.

The service, as a security precaution, will not
solicit consumers via email, telemarketing or direct
mail solicitations.

You can utilize this source to order your credit
report for inspection from only one or up to all three
of the major credit bureaus.

Note, you are only eligible to receive 1 credit report
every 12 months from each of the credit bureaus.

We'd recommend you space out your requests over a
year's time to the three individual credit bureaus
listed above to maximize your identity theft
protection and prevention strategy.

Check back with us later this week for more late
breaking news, tips, & resources to aid you in with
identity theft protection and prevention.

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