May 14, 2022
  • May 14, 2022

Block your credit to avoid fraud

By on February 1, 2022 0

It’s time to freeze, not just in terms of temperature. Freezing your credit is one of the best steps you can take to stop identity theft before it happens.

SAN ANTONIO – Be proactive and block scammers.

“Don’t wait to be a victim of identity theft,” said Ted Rossman, credit industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “It’s really painful to decompress all that. Just taking a few minutes now can save you a lot of time in the future. A credit freeze is truly one of the best things we can do to protect our identity because it stops bad guys from opening credit in your name. This is a particularly harmful part of identity theft.

You will need to freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. There are three ways to freeze: online, by phone or by mail.

“I did it online and it took me less than 10 minutes total,” Rossman said.

You can also freeze your children’s credit if they are under 18, but this must be done by mail. You will also need to provide documents like a birth certificate and a social security card.

“It can be worth it because child identity theft is a thing,” Rossman said. “It often goes unnoticed for a long time because kids aren’t supposed to have credit reports and they’re not in the credit market.”

A freeze is free and does not affect your credit score. Once your credit is frozen, here’s what’s going on:

“Basically what you’re doing is blocking any new credit from being opened in your name or anyone else trying to open it in your name,” said credit industry analyst Nathan Grant. credit cards at Credit Card Insider.

The gel is so good that it even blocks you. So, you will need to defrost it in these situations:

“It’s a new credit card,” Rossman said. “It’s a loan for a new car, a mortgage, something like that. You may even need to lift it if a utility provider wants to check your credit, such as if you get a new cable plan or a new cell phone plan, any type of formal credit check, a landlord checking your history credit when you I rent an apartment.

Unblocking your credit is free. You can unlock your credit online or by phone. It should be unfrozen within an hour of your request, but don’t wait until the last minute.

“I would say sometimes your best plans go wrong,” Rossman said. “I would tend to give maybe a day or two grace period. I wouldn’t necessarily want to sit in the dealer CFO’s office and start the process. Yes, it should be quick, but if you have a problem like the website is down or you can’t reach on the phone, I think building a buffer for a day or two is a good idea.

The freeze will not affect your current credit cards. You can still use them normally. However, keep in mind:

“It also won’t prevent fraud on cards you already own,” Rossman said. “So we always have to be alert to looking for suspicious transactions and scanning your monthly statement.”

Put a freeze on fraud today.

If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants To Know, email us at [email protected] or call us at 210-377-8647.

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