Fraud alerts are being widely used all over the world. This is because many people are becoming victims of identity theft and other frauds. These crimes have exponentially increased in numbers in a short span of time. Once you fall victim to these crimes, it will be hard to recover what you have lost. Becoming a victim of identity theft will not only make you lose money, but it will also make you lose your integrity and reputation. Before that happens to you, start taking appropriate measures to prevent these fraudsters from targeting you.
How You Can Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious crime that’s very upsetting. However, there are ways on how you can prevent it from happening to you. You can start protecting yourself by doing the following:
- Keep your personal information private.
- Most victims of identity theft are those people who don’t keep their personal information private. Do not share your name, birthday, mother’s maiden name and other personal information with strangers. By keeping your personal information public, you are giving fraudsters the opportunity to target you as their next victim. The fraudsters can use that information to enter into illegal transactions under your name without your knowledge.
- Install fraud alerts on your credit report.
- If you are unsure whether keeping your personal information private is enough to protect you against fraudsters or not, then you should take this extra safety measure. Placing alerts on your credit report is absolutely free. You will not spend anything for your credit records to be protected. These alerts will notify creditors that you are suspecting someone might be fraudulently using your name to avail credit from financial institutions.
There are three credit bureaus where you can request for fraud alerts activation. You can request activation through any of the 3 credit bureaus because it will automatically notify the other 2 about your activation request. These three credit bureaus are formed to ensure consumer safety and to protect the interests of the creditors as well.
Here are the steps on how you can install fraud alerts on your credit report today through the credit reporting companies:
- Choose the credit reporting company where you want to request the alerts activation.
- You can choose between TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. These are the only credit reporting companies in the US that can help you with identity theft cases. To place your request, you can just go directly to their respective websites and avail of their services for free.
- Choose what type of fraud alerts you want to activate.
- There are essentially 3 types of alerts you can use. The first one is called Initial Fraud Alert since it’s only applicable to people who are not yet victims of identity theft but are suspecting to be one. The second type is the Extended Fraud Alert which is for people who are already victims of identity theft. This type of alert lasts for 7 years. The last one is called the Active Duty Military Alert which is only for those who are deployed in the military.
- Ask for a copy of your credit report.
- After installing your fraud alerts, you are entitled to receive a free credit report from the 3 credit bureaus. Make sure that you check whether the alerts have been placed properly and no information is suspicious.