Be alert to signs the require immediate attention:
- Bills that do not arrive as expected
- Unexpected credit cards or account statements
- Denials of credit for no apparent reason
- Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
- Your credit report. Credit reports contain information abut you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies–Equifax,Experian, and TransUnion–to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it. However, that means the crooks can get one too if they have the right information. If you think you are a victim of a fraud (like having your email hacked), you might want to put a fraud alert on these and then you will be notified when anyone runs a credit report.
- Visit http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or call 877-322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year.
- Your financial statements. Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.
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