Check Your Credit Report Regularly – What To Do If You Might Be a Victim of Fraud (Part 2 of 2)

In our last blog post we discussed why you should be checking your credit report on a regular basis, how to do it and how to file a dispute. So what do you do if you find suspicious activity on your report? 

Fraudulent scams and identity theft are unfortunately a common problem in our society, especially now. Covid-19 scams are widespread — fake stimulus checks, credit card scams, phishing schemes and more. In addition to looking for red flags on your credit report, be extra cautious about clicking on suspicious links, and check the source of information and website links you receive.

If you think you might be a victim of fraud, there are a few things you can do.

Request a credit freeze.

First, contact any one of the three credit agencies – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion — and ask them to temporarily freeze your credit to prevent further activity. This is something you can request even if you don’t see suspicious activity to proactively protect yourself. However, be aware that if you are trying to apply for a loan or open a new account of any kind, you’ll be unable to do so until the freeze is removed.

Set up a fraud alert.

Another option is to ask any one of the three agencies to set up a fraud alert so that any new activity in your name, such as applying for a loan or credit card, will automatically generate an alert. This is a simple step you can take to ensure you are aware if someone is using your identity to borrow money, for example. 

Take action if your identity has been stolen.

If you think your identity has been stolen, there are a number of websites with information and resources to help you:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/protectYourIdentity.action

https://www.consumer.gov/articles/1015-avoiding-identity-theft

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-identity-theft-en-1243/

Take extra precautions.

Staying informed is one of the most valuable steps you can take. Sign up to receive scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and check the FTC’s Consumer Information website, which has a number of additional steps you can take to protect yourself from fraudulent scams.

Want to boost your credit score?

Paying your rent on time every month helps raise your credit score — but it’s not automatically reported. If you want assistance with rent reporting, contact RentReporters and we’ll work with your landlord on your behalf. We’ll also provide your TransUnion Vantage credit score for free every month so you can see your rating increase. Find out more at https://www.rentreporters.com/price/

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