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Identity Theft Prevention - Monitor Your Credit Report
Here’s an important tip to remember: With the recent flood of identity theft cases and reports of merchants and banks losing their customers' personal information, monitoring your credit report couldn’t be more critical.
What is a Credit Report?
Credit reports are prepared by credit bureaus and contain a summary of your financial history. They are normally reviewed when you are applying for a job, getting a loan or insurance policy, or renting an apartment.
Credit reports contain the following information:
- Personal identification information
- Public information, such as current and former residences, gathered from local courthouses
- Credit history information such as a list of your loans, credit cards, and payment history
- List of creditors and other parties that have requested your report
How Can I Prevent Identity Theft?
When viewing your credit report, always make sure it correctly shows your bill payment history and that all the accounts listed are yours. Also, look for accounts you don't use or might have forgotten; you may want to close them out. If you find incomplete or incorrect information on your credit report, contact the credit bureau immediately. You must identify the dispute and state specific facts to ask for a correction. You should also contact the company that provided the wrong or incomplete information.
Get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com or call 877-322-8228 to order your credit report directly. Calling is the most reliable way to order your credit report. If you do decide to order your credit report online, make sure you enter the correct Web address. Otherwise, you could be led to an imposter site acting as a "free credit report" Web site.
Get More Information
For more information on identity theft and how you can prevent it from happening to you, please call your credit union.