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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Posted: November 20, 2017 at 11:53 am

HOW TO FREEZE YOUR CREDIT

It’s important to know how to prevent your identity from being stolen. One way to do this is by placing a freeze on your credit. If you’ve never heard about this process, here’s what you should know about placing a hold on your credit.

WHAT DOES FREEZING MY CREDIT MEAN?

Freezing your credit means that no one can evaluate your credit report for the purposes of opening an account, such as a credit card or loan, under your name without a pin number.

Freezing your credit will not affect your overall score. You can also still receive your free annual credit report. It’s important to continue to monitor your statements and report any future fraud immediately.

HOW DO I FREEZE MY CREDIT?

You will need to notify each of the three credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax) that you are freezing your credit. You can expect to pay about $5 – $10 per bureau per freeze. You can contact each company either online or by phone:

It’s important to make sure you contact all three bureaus for the highest level of security.

HOW DO I UNFREEZE MY CREDIT?

You can do this by notifying the bureau that you would like either a temporary or permanent lift of the hold. There is usually a fee associated with this. While the process itself takes about 15 minutes, it usually takes three business days to go into effect. If you want to apply for credit or a loan, you will need to initiate a thaw prior to the application process.

LEARN MORE about our FREE Identity Theft Protection program for Checking Account members.

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Equifax Announces Security Breach

September 8, 2017

Equifax, one of the nation’s three main credit reporting agencies, has announced a Cyber Security Incident that could potentially impact roughly 143 million U.S. consumers, according to a statement released on the company’s website. Equifax has set up website to help consumers determine if their information has possibly been exposed.

The company states it is also sending notices in the mail to consumers whose credit card numbers and/or dispute documents were possibly exposed. In addition to the website, Equifax is also offering consumers the option to sign up for free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection — as part of its TrustedID Premier offering — which includes:

  • 3-bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports;
  • Copies of Equifax credit reports;
  • Ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports;
  • Identity theft insurance;
  • Internet Scanning for Social Security numbers

The offer is completely free to U.S. consumers for one year.

The dedicated website also provides more information on ways consumers can protect their personal information, as well as ways to contact Equifax directly, including a dedicated Call Center (1-866-447-7559) that is open seven days a week from 7am to 1am EST.