Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Identity Theft Protection and other Identity Theft topics.
It's important to have access to your credit report for protection against identity theft. Your credit report includes record of your Social Security number, address, telephone number, birthday, employment information, credit history, and any experience you've had with arrests, lawsuits, and bankruptcy. If you make late credit card payments, overdraw accounts, or fail to pay utilities, you will be reported to Consumer Reporting Agencies (or credit bureaus), who collect and sell the information in your report. It is made available to employers, businesses, banks, lending institutions, and insurers. The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to:
• Use accuracy and privacy in consumer reporting
• Provide you with one free credit report per year
• Give you information on who receives a copy of your report
• Explain the circumstances of negative information
• Provide you with the option to keep your information from being used for marketing
• Give you access to file a lawsuit or make a complaint to a government agency
The FTC recommends you check your credit report at least once a year, preferably every four months for identity theft protection. The FTC also warns to beware of any unsolicited emails offering free annual credit reports.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|