Identify theft is the fraudulent misuse of credit cards, bank accounts, or other personal information. It affects millions of people every year. Hubby Tony and I haven't had any problems, but there have recently been a few close calls. Earlier this year Schnucks, a local grocery store chain where I often use my debit card, reported that their system had been breached and more than two million credit and debit cards were affected. Last month Tony got a letter from one of his credit card companies telling him that his number may have been compromised.
Because of all the potential issues, several years ago we set up a system to check our credit reports on a regular basis. Did you know that there are three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and you're entitled to a free credit report from each of them once a year through the Website AnnualCreditReport.com? I get reports in March, July, and November. Tony does three different months, which means we're checking six times a year.
It takes about fifteen minutes to enter the information and get the report, which tells you all the accounts (credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc) that have been opened in your name, the date the account was opened, the credit limit or loan amount, the account balance, and your payment history.
The peace of mind I get from checking my credit reports is definitely worth the time it takes to do the project!
Five years ago today: New Thing #180--What's For Dinner?