Plane tickets to DC to march cost money. Donations to the EFF cost money. Hard drives to backup your system cost money. Paying for VPNS and private email costs money. Dinner in the evening so you can get up raring to go in the morning costs money. Baddies will aim for financial resources because of the double pay off. They undercut the opposition and they have more for themselves!
We’ll be adding checking your bank and credit card balances to the Tuesday Sweep because false charges typically sign number one that either you or a vendor you’ve shopped with has been exploited. Take action and report them quickly. No matter how small. False charges are just one of many red flags for identity theft.
What also needs to go on the schedule? Requesting credit report copies from the big three on a staggered rotation. January, after taxes in May, and back to school time in September will spread it out nicely. According to the FTC –
You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.
Other conditions to get a free copy:
- If you have been denied credit (you must request a copy within 60 days)
- If you are unemployed and intend to apply for employment in the next 60 days
- If you are on public welfare assistance
- If you have reason to believe your file contains inaccurate information due to fraud or identity theft
- If an adverse decision related to your employment has been made based in whole or in part on information contained in the report
- If your report has been revised based upon an investigation you request
For more information on credit report basics, how to understand your credit score, or otherwise respond to identity theft the folks at the Privacy Rights Clearing House house have created several guides worth reading.