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Credit Report & Credit Score; Credit Repair, Debt Management > Identity Theft > How to prevent identity thieves from stealing your credit rating

How to prevent identity thieves from stealing your credit rating

By Ruth Racey
Published: Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Checking your credit reports regularly should not be taken for granted. If you fail to monitor them, you are in danger of piling up your bills and letting your credit score plunge down the bottom of the barrel.

Identity thieves are experts in manipulating clients’ accounts which can turn your financial reputation to ashes. They have two main goals:

  1. Using the client’s credit cards and
  2. Starting up new credit accounts.

You are already aware that keeping unused credit card accounts is a great idea in improving your credit rating. Creditors regularly check for these accounts, and seeing they remain untouched, they will assume you are financially stable. However, owning unused credit cards can also put you into a lot of trouble if you are not wary of identity thieves.

Clever thieves regularly browse credit reports and dig up as much information as possible to have a successful operation. If they get a hold of your identity, all they need to do is search for an unused account and request “your” address to be changed. Then, they would report a damaged or lost card so they can ask for another one to be issued, using your name, at your “new” address.  

At first they will pay your bills promptly, looking like model clients for some time, until they begin to receive cash advance checks as rewards for their prompt payments. After they have spent all the available credit, they will stop paying.

Meanwhile, since you were not using the card, you would not expect to receive a monthly statement of your expenses, so you did not notice.

Soon after, you might notice that your credit card issuers are beginning to reduce your credit limits – bringing down your credit score.

Aside from this, thieves can also open new accounts using your personal information. They can even purchase brand new cars or houses complete with furniture.

With all that warning, you may now be asking how to protect yourself from these money maniacs. There are several things:

  • Get a list of all you accounts, including bank accounts on line.
  • Find time to check every account regularly.
  • Request for free credit reports and sign up for future credit updates so you will not be surprised when one arrives.
  • Subscribe in an alert service, so as you get informed when there is any change in your credit and personal information.

With the advanced technology everybody is experiencing right now, preventing identity theft would be very difficult, but you can still take precautionary measures to at least lower the possibility of you becoming a victim of one.

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