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Frozen Credit Reports prevent fraud

By Faye Mergel
Published: Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

AGERM-00121312-001The Better Business Bureau (BBB) during the last “Secure Your Identity” day along with its counterparts shred almost 8 tons of paper.

Gearing up for this year, the BBB recommends that the best way to secure your identity would be to shred papers and documents which contain your personal information. The BBB will be present to help shred the right documents and to ensure people do not shred the wrong documents. The convention held at the Idaho Transportation Department head office on the 17th of April. Documents and papers which contain personal information which you no longer need shred it now and protect you identity.

What BBB recommends

Checks and receipts from bills should be disposed after a one year period. These documents should be kept safe for taxation and for some items if needed for warranty reasons. ATM conformation slips and bills from credit card companies should be safely disposed to prevent information about a person’s bank and credit/debit status from being leaked. Receipts and bills from shopping expenses are not required after their warrant or exchange periods have expired. Tax forms must be destroyed after 3 years. Income tax receipts must not be disposed under any circumstances.

Freezing credit reports is a fool proof plan to prevent identity theft. When a credit report is frozen, it prevents access to those reports to everyone but the person who froze the report. Employers and institutions offering loans check credit report before making decisions on the person’s employment and loan status. This helps in preventing identity theft and fraud.

Persons who had to face problems of identity theft have free access to this feature. Other persons have to pay a nominal free of $6 to freeze their reports. Reports remain frozen until the customer says otherwise. Freezing a credit reports must be done with all major credit bureaus and the fee must be paid to every bureau.

Credit Bureaus will require a person’s full name, with initials, last and middle name included. If a person has ever changed their name, legally, their name before the change will also be required. Address in detail, including zip codes must be submitted along with social security number and date of birth.

The respective credit bureaus can be contacted at.

EQUIFAX
Address: P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia 30348
Telephone: 1-800-685-1111
Website: https://www.freeze.equifax.com

EXPERIAN
Address: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
Telephone: 1 888-397-3742
Website: www.experian.com/freeze

TRANSUNION
Address: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834
Telephone: 1-888-909-8872
Website: http://bit.ly/aUn1w2

Consumers will still have access to their annual credit reports from each of the three credit reports.

Dale Dixon CEO of the BBB can be contacted for more details at 342-4649 or ddixon@boise.bbb.org.

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