Get a free freeze.
If bad actors are able to steal your information, they may be able to access your bank accounts or take out loans in your name. A credit freeze makes it more challenging for them to do so by preventing banks and other companies from sharing your credit information.
You should get a credit freeze if you notice any unfamiliar transactions on your financial statements, such as your credit card bill or credit report. You can get a free freeze by contacting Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.
How to Get a free Freeze:
Since Sept 21, 2018, credit freezes are free. You can get free freezes for children under 16, or for anyone whose guardian you are, or for anyone who has given you power of attorney.
Contact all 3 national credit reporting agencies:
- Equifax: (800) 349-9960 and https://help.equifax.com/s/article/How-do-I-place-temporarily-lift-or-permanently-remove-a-security-freeze
- Experian 1 (888) 397-3742 and https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/preventing-fraud/security-freeze/
- TransUnion https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
You can request a freeze online, or by phone to get a freeze in 1 business day. If you request a freeze by mail, you will get a freeze within 3 business days
To get the freeze lifted for free, contact your “freezer” online or by phone, and it will be lifted in one hour, temporarily. If the freeze has not been properly placed, call FTC number 855-411-2372 to complain. You can sign up for yearlong fraud alerts for free so companies check with you before using your credit info for an account. If you think your identity has already been stolen, visit the FTC page IdentityTheft.gov for advice on how to react.