Clark Howard: Credit freeze
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're worried about identity theft, maybe you or a family member or a friend has been affected by somebody poking around pretending to be you, taking over your credit in some way or another.You should know that doing a credit monitor is not the most effective strategy if you really want to shut down people messing around with you, pretending to be you, applying for credit as if they're you and then leaving you with the mess to clean up. There's one thing that you can do and it's called credit freeze. You can set one up within just a few minutes with all three of the credit bureaus. These are Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian. In a credit freeze account, each one issues you a unique secret code. So let's say somebody gets all your information: your Social Security number, your current address, all your prior addresses, your mother's maiden name. They're locked out. That's not going enough for them to get credit. But I want to tell you, freezing our credit in most states costs a little bit of money, usually $3 to $10 per bureau. The hassle comes if you ever want to thaw your credit, you have to pay that $3 to $10 to thaw it. It takes just a minute though.
For more information go to ClarkHoward.com.
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