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How to Avoid Letting Someone Steal Your Identity

I just got yet another pre-approved credit card letter in the mail, which is super annoying because each time one is mailed out it puts me at risk for identity theft.

What happens is identity theives steal these letters. (This is super common and I don’t know why it’s still legal for credit companies like Equifax, Transunion, etc. to sell our credit information. Oh wait. Greed. Yeah, that’s it.)

The identity thieves then reply and accept the offer (with a change of address) and then rack up tons of debt on cards in your name, tied to your credit union file. It takes an average of a year to get your credit fixed, if ever. Yeah, a year!

Here’s how you can avoid it: call the national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables consumers to opt-out of all pre-approved credit offers with just one phone call. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) for more information.

You can also call all the credit unions (the three main ones are Equifax, Experian, TransUnion), and tell them to put a “freeze” on your account, assuming you’re not going to be applying for credit or a loan soon. You can always unfreeze it for a week for $5 – a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Want more tips? Read the more in Urbanette Magazine.

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