115 Mecaw Rd., Hampden, ME 04444|(207) 945-6264

Protecting Your Credit and Personal Information

Every day data breaches occur. In September 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting companies suffered a data breach.  Over 143 million people nationwide and ½ of the citizens of Maine were affected by the breach.

Here are some FREE steps you can take to help keep your credit and personal information safe and secure

  • Get a free credit report every year at www.annualcreditreport.com   Since there are three credit bureaus you can rotate them and have a free report every four months.  For example: Equifax in September, Transunion in January and Experian in May.  Again these reports are free to the consumer.

 

  • Put a Freeze on your credit reports.  Maine is the only state in the nation that allows for a free credit freeze.  This means that if someone tries to run your credit report, they will not be able to until you give the ok. Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax — 1-800-349-9960 Experian — 1 888 397 3742 TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872.You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.

 

  • Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit reports. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts.

For additional information click on one of the links below:

Federal Trade Commission

Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection

The best security is to monitor accounts – pay attention to what is going on, balances and unknown charges.  Be aware!

 

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