Last year there were some major problems with identity breaches. hat can you do to protect your identity?
The first step is to determine whether or not you were affected.
Here in Vermont we can contact the Consumer Assistance Program, a joint venture between the Vermont Attorney General’s office and the University of Vermont. You can go to their website. I’m sure other states have similar websites. The Vermont site actually has a page with all of the security incidents that may have affected the consumer’s personal information. The list is quite extensive!
Monitor Your Credit.
Regularly check your credit card statements to make sure there are no erroneous charges. Get a copy of your credit report (It’s free) and make sure that it is an accurate representation of your credit and there are no new accounts opened in your name. There are three major credit bureaus and you should make it a practice to check your credit report every four months. I rotate between the various credit bureaus every four months. This is an important step to protect your identity.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
If your Data was affected, you may want to post a “Security Freeze” on your credit information with the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion and Experian.
This does not freeze your existing credit cards or other credit tools, but it does lock down your information. Fees may apply.
File your annual federal and income tax return as soon as possible.
A known scam is to file tax returns before you do in order to get a refund you may be due.
We all may have a breach of our identity at one time or another but by keeping a close eye on your accounts and monitoring your credit reports you can limit the damage done. Keeping an eye on your finances is a good idea and requesting your free credit report is a good place to start.