The best way to protect yourself from identity theft Security Freeze Service
What is Identity Theft? Identity theft, also known as ID theft is a crime in which a criminal obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to pose as someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services using the victims’ name. Identity theft can also provide a thief with false credentials for immigration or other applications. One of the biggest problems with identity theft is that very often the crimes committed by the identity theft expert are often attributed to the victim. There are two main types of identity theft – account takeover and true name theft. Account takeover identity theft refers to the type of situation where an imposter uses the stolen personal information to gain access to the person’s existing accounts. True name identity theft means that the thief uses personal information to open new accounts. The thief might open a new credit card account, establish cellular phone service, or open a new checking account in order to obtain blank checks.
The Impact of Identity Theft Damaged Credit: Thieves run up bills or open new accounts in your name. When they don't pay your credit rating plummets while your interest rates skyrocket. When you apply for a loan or new credit card, you're turned down. Lost Medical Benefits: When someone seeks medical treatment with your health insurance benefit, the implications go beyond financial. You could end up with a medical history that isn't entirely yours, resulting in potentially incorrect diagnosis and treatment when you do need help. Financial Loss: With bank account numbers and basic personal information, identity thieves can drain your bank accounts. Repair Time: The average identity theft victim spends more than 500 hours and more than $3,000 to restore his or her credit and good name. That's time lost from work, from family, from life.
What is a Security Freeze? A security freeze prevents anyone from opening new credit accounts in your name by making your credit file off-limits to prospective creditors—and crooks. In the typical credit application process, a creditor will request the applicant's credit report or credit score from one of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. (These businesses compile information about your credit accounts and payment history from businesses that have lent you money.) The creditor uses this information to determine if the applicant is creditworthy. If you are creditworthy, it means you are someone the business wants to lend money to. Creditors and lenders who are denied access to an applicant's credit file can't evaluate the borrower's credit history. This usually means the credit request will be denied. That's a good thing if a crook is trying to access your credit. Under a security freeze, your credit report is off limits to prospective creditors and others who use it in their decision-making process—insurance companies, landlords, employers who need to do a background check, cell phone companies, and utilities, for example. You have the right to lift the freeze before applying or giving permission to check your credit. This is easily done with the personal identification number (PIN) or password that the credit reporting agency gives you. A security freeze will not keep out anyone with whom you already have an account or other business relationship.
Who Should Consider a Security Freeze? A security freeze is not always the best choice for everyone. But, if you are a victim of identity theft or believe you are at increased risk, a security freeze can provide protection and peace of mind. Stolen personal information can be sold or exchanged among identity thieves, which means that all victims should consider a security freeze. Placing, lifting and removing the freeze is free for identity theft victims, in most cases. Consumers whose Social Security number has been revealed unintentionally—through a company "security breach" or a lost wallet, for example—can freeze their credit files as a precaution. A security freeze can be inconvenient, particularly if you're actively seeking new credit or doing other things (like applying to rent a home) that require your credit file to be accessible. That's why consumers considering a freeze should take into account their particular circumstances. Before making a decision, consider the likelihood you will become a fraud victim, the extent to which the freeze would delay important transactions, and whether the extra peace of mind is worth the cost and extra effort.
Security Freeze Service Our service is simple and straight forward. We place a security freeze on your file and monitor it for you for as long as you keep it there. When you want your security freeze lifted for a temporary amount of time, all you have to do is send us an email and we take care of the rest for you.We charge a yearly price: Adults is $249.00 yearlyChildren is $99.00 yearly If you are interested in placing a security freeze on your credit file, just fill out the sign up form that was also attached to the email I sent to you and I will process your information. Once everything is processes, you will receive a payment email for you to submit your yearly fee.
Security Freeze FAQs How long does it take for a security freeze to be in effect? After five (5) business days from receiving your letter, the credit reporting agencies listed above will place a freeze on the provision of your credit reports to potential creditors. Within ten (10) business days of receiving your freeze request, the credit reporting agencies will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep this PIN or password in a safe place. Can I open new credit accounts if my files are frozen? If you want to take out a loan, get a new credit card or apply for a job or certain services, you can lift the security freeze for a certain period of time or for a specific party by notifying the credit bureau according to its procedures. Can I have a security freeze removed?Yes. You can have a security freeze lifted for a specific party, temporary period of time, or permanently. The steps I would take to remove it for you are as follows: I contact the credit reporting agencies above. I must provide them with your proper identification; I must provide your unique PIN or password; If lifting temporarily, Imust include the party that you wish to release a report to and/or during what time period your credit report will be accessible.
Security Freeze FAQs (cont’d) How long does it take for a security freeze to be lifted? Three (3) business days before 1/1/09 when request is made by mail. After 1/1/09, the consumer reporting agencies must lift the freeze within 15 minutes under reasonable circumstances and if requests are made by telephone or e-mail during normal business hours. What will a creditor who requests my file see if it is frozen? A creditor will see a message or a code indicating the file is frozen. Can a creditor get my credit score if my file is frozen? No. A creditor who requests your file from one of the three credit bureaus will only get a message or a code indicating that the file is frozen. Can I order my own credit report if my file is frozen?Yes. Can anyone see my credit file if it is frozen? When you have a security freeze on your credit file, certain entities still have access to it. Your report can still be released to your existing creditors or to collection agencies acting on their own behalf. They can use it to review or collect on your account. Other creditors may also use your information to make offers of credit. Government agencies may also have access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.
Security Freeze FAQs (cont’d) Do I have to freeze my file with all three credit bureaus? Yes. Different credit issuers may use different credit bureaus. If you want to stop your credit file from being viewed, you must freeze it with Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Will a freeze lower my credit score? No. Can an employer do a background check on my credit file? No. You would have to lift the freeze to allow a background check, just as you would to apply for credit. The process for lifting the freeze is described above. Does freezing my file mean that I won’t receive pre-approved credit offers? No. You can stop the pre-approved credit offers by calling 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688). Or you can do this online at www.optoutprescreen.com. This will stop most of the offers, the ones that go through the credit bureaus. It’s good for five years or you can make it permanent. What law requires security freezes? The Indiana security freeze bill passed as Senate Bill 403. It is effective September 1, 2007. Can I still get a copy of my credit report? You will still be able to get a free copy of your credit report annually from each credit bureau by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Security Freeze FAQs (cont’d) What if my spouse doesn’t have a utility bill in their name? Any document that provides sufficient proof of identity to the consumer reporting agency will work. Each credit reporting agency has slightly different rules. You may reference each CRA Web site for more information. The relevant language in the statute is "clearly identify" and "information sufficient to identify the consumer." So most recent documents showing that a person lives a particular address should be sufficient, but consumers should check out the CRA’s specific rules before mailing their documents. http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html http://www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/fraudIdentityTheft/preventing/securityFreeze.page http://learn.equifax.com/credit/fair-credit-reporting Does each spouse need to submit separate forms? It is the understanding of the attorney general’s office that each spouse has to submit a separate freeze request. Will this freeze my credit card? Freezes do not apply to existing lines of credit that have been authorized by the consumer.
Security Freeze FAQs (cont’d) Will I need my pin number each time I want to use my credit card? The PIN is used to lift or remove the freeze to allow third parties to access your credit report. The PIN is not needed to use an existing credit card. Mailing all of this personal information through the mail seems risky. What precautions can I take to secure my identity? Use a security envelope, ensure that the envelope is properly sealed, and don’t indicate on the outside that personal information is enclosed. Are minors eligible to request a freeze? Yes, minors are eligible to freeze their reports as well.