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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Freeze Your Credit

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Until the Equifax Inc. hack, many consumers didn’t know what a credit freeze was. Now, the credit-reporting company’s massive data breach has people reaching for the tool, a move that could have a host of implications for both consumers and the financial industry.

A freeze typically prevents lenders from accessing a potential borrower’s credit report, although it doesn’t affect existing credit arrangements such as outstanding loans or cards. A freeze makes it unlikely a firm would immediately extend new financing, which, while helping prevent fraud could also slow legitimate business.

Freezes are being promoted as a first line of defense in the Equifax breach, which potentially affected 143 million Americans. It is a more drastic step than credit monitoring, which alerts consumers to potentially fraudulent activity on their reports.

Equifax peers TransUnion and Experian PLC said the number of credit-report freezes being requested by consumers increased significantly in the days after the Equifax news last week. Tens of thousands of U.S. consumers initiated credit freezes on Friday and Saturday alone, said Alex Lintner, president of consumer information services at Experian.

Demand to sign up for freezes appears to be so great that some consumers were complaining of delays or being unable to register on credit-reporting companies’ websites. “The unprecedented number of consumers contacting us after the Equifax announcement has impacted our ability to respond to consumers as we would like,” said TransUnion, adding it has taken steps to increase communications with consumers.

LONG ARTICLE...THE REST OF THE ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND HERE:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/never-hotter-time-freeze-credit-165500437.html

 

 

Edited by softail

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There are 4 credit bureaus that a person has to freeze to pay it safe

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/09/13/how-freeze-your-credit-protect-your-identity/657304001/

To place a freeze on your credit reports, you need to call the credit reporting companies. There are three big ones — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and one smaller one, Innovis. Litan recommends freezing your credit at all four. Here are the numbers to call:
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As usual Lee good stuff. Not to clutter or pile on, briefly:

New identities can be started with the amount of info lost, for example a hospital admission bill,  under false name, drivers license, also some companies use alternate credit reporting or none at all. The list of exceptions to what the freeze can do is an issue ( but the freeze is  best option anyway).

The CRA generally uses the same stolen information to turn back on the frozen account when someone claims they lost their freeze password. I bet that will change soon though.

Some U.S. states lift the freeze after seven years so you'd need to research which ones.

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-freeze-data-1276.php

One may wish to also freeze chexsytems to avoid a fradulent bank account opening.

https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/securityfreeze/information/!ut/p/z1/pZFfb4IwFMU_DY9yL_g3e2smY86iM0iGfVlwgYIBSmqVZJ_eok8Qpy72oUmb37n33HOBQQisjI4Zj1QmyijX7w0bfSOZEmvgI3U_l29IHG8x8QNq43wEX21g-b62NeBQt2_PLXc1APYvfQfA8XN6DZz1fxyC8NFu0PHvWE0CtvRePQ6silTay8pEQDjTtyzOKWkL7F6R20CT0s05mxgeGITnYnvZGSm3_Yl2LOMklrE0D1J_p0pV-xcDDazr2uRC8Dw2f0Rh4DVJKvYKwjYJVREE4S9N_NlumB8pOQFAYBTl/dz/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

Edited by delancey
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The scary part of the identity theft is that companies like Equifax have ALL your information, whatever you have put on any credit form anytime during your life will likely be in the file that was stolen, so the thief can now impersonate you if they wish to, so besides getting credit, they can do just about anything on the phone that you can do, call up and tell banks and credit cards that they are you and identify themselves as you, except they may not have the code on the back of you atm card but maybe they do. :unsure: Now think about that for a minute, you have an investment account, bank accounts, credit card accounts and someone might be able to use a machine to make it look like they are calling from your phone number to those and call into any of those places which are all listed on your credit report and impersonate you. I know that when I call into some places they know it is me by my phone number, then they will ask the usual questions and then likely give me access to my account, so what happens when an impersonator calls in and tells them that for some reason they are unable to sign into their (your) account and gains access, quite possibly you lose all you have in those accounts, or the impersonator transfers all your money, sells your investments, sells your home as if they were you, or just about anything else, getting fake id with their photo and your name and relevant information on the id is very easy nowadays.

I hope you guys and gals can now see why it is important to freeze your files and I wish you all luck, I feel this hack is the worst thing that could have happened to any of us during our lifetime. 

BTW I called in and did all four of mine for free, I also did my wife's but for some reason TransUnion and Experian charged us $10 each to do those and the other two were free, IMO $20 well spent.

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11 hours ago, Lee said:

BTW I called in and did all four of mine for free, I also did my wife's but for some reason TransUnion and Experian charged us $10 each to do those and the other two were free, IMO $20 well spent.

Those fees are set by your state laws. I just finished ours with the same fees. I bet the hackers were in & out a lot quicker than I was!

Thanks all for the info!

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On 9/15/2017 at 5:24 AM, Lee said:

BTW I called in and did all four of mine for free, I also did my wife's but for some reason TransUnion and Experian charged us $10 each to do those and the other two were free, IMO $20 well spent.

We received our letters from Experian today. The fee for her was $10 and mine was free as I am over 65 years old.

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I had a credit freeze on mine when I first moved abroad.  Not sure if things have changed, but back then the lock required someone to speak to me on a specified phone number before any accounts would be opened. When I no longer had that number it was a bit of a pain to get sorted. Eventually the freeze stopped on its own and I didn't renew it. 

 

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If there is any "good" news about this is from reporting by security "experts" this was done by a state/country entity.

Why? Who knows-but one thing, I sure hope the 3 execs who sold their stock before this was announced end up w/their sorry thieving  behinds in prison for a long time. 

On another note about this, I was one of many who has been drug kicking & screaming into this techno world rather than doing things face to face the way we always did it. Common sense says this kind of stuff HAD to happen.

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The Equifax hack, does this only apply to Americans ( and / or people in America )  ?

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21 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Eventually the freeze stopped on its own and I didn't renew it. 

An initial alert lasts only 90 days. If you've been an actual victim of identity theft, you can request an extended alert, which lasts for seven years. During that period, a creditor must telephone you before it extends credit.

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