Identity Theft Can Leave You With Collections, Late Payments, and Worse
IDENTITY THEFT IMPACTS YOUR CREDIT
A thief opened a credit card in a man’s name and, by changing the address, made sure the victim never received any of the bills. The thief never paid the bills, so the new debt showed up as a collection on the victim’s credit report. The victim didn’t check his credit report; thus, he didn’t know about the new account. Eventually, the credit card company sued the victim, resulting in a judgment he now owes.
New late payments, a new collection, and a new judgment on his credit report for the next 7 years.
A thief gained access to a State database and stole personal and employment information. The thief used a woman’s personal information to file false tax returns and claimed her tax refund. The thief also filed false unemployment claims. Not only was the victim out her tax refund, but 9 months later the State filed a tax lien against her because of the fraudulent unemployment claims.
Tax lien on her credit report.
HOW DOES A THIEF STEAL YOUR IDENTITY?
Bad employee sells co-worker and customer information on the Dark Web (The hacker’s marketplace).
A hacker obtains customer usernames and passwords, and sells them on the Dark Web (The hacker’s marketplace).
Thief steals mail and files false tax returns to claim tax refunds.
Thief steals a laptop from a car and gains millions of veterans’ social security numbers.
PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
Credit monitoring services vary – most require a fee. They alert you when a new inquiry is made, a new account is opened, or a change has been made to your credit profile. Ideally, choose a monitoring service that monitors all 3 Credit Reporting Agencies.
Call any 1 of the 3 Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to place a free, 90-day fraud alert on your credit profile. This alerts lenders to verify your identity before giving you credit. You may also place a security freeze ($10 per CRA) on your credit reports. This requires lenders to enter your PIN # in order to check your credit.
Identity thieves use phishing emails to steal personal and financial information. These emails appear legitimate – looking like they came from your creditor – but, they are fake. The email contains a fake link, taking the victim to a fake website that looks real. The unaware victim uses their credentials to login, and the thief captures their username and password. Instead of clicking email links, use a web browser to go to a website.
RESTORE YOUR IDENTITY
GreenBayGreg of Dellaire Realty interviews the president of Credit Matters, Dan Krueger, to discuss the basics of credit repair and credit scoring.