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  • Put the Freeze on Identity Theft

    Posted on April 18th, 2008 NewSunSEO 2 comments

    There are plenty of common-sense things you can do to curb your risk of identity theft : shred personal documents, guard your Social Security number, and monitor your credit report. But if you really want to roll out the big guns, put a security freeze on your credit file.

    A freeze bars anyone from having access to your credit report and credit score without your permission, which means identity thieves will have a tough time opening an account in your name—even if they know your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. That’s because lenders generally won’t issue new credit without first seeing a credit report.

    To put a freeze on your file, you’ll have to send a certified letter to each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. In most states, the service is free for identity-theft victims who provide a police report. Otherwise, you’ll pay about $10 at each credit bureau, unless your state mandates a lower fee.

    Freezes don’t make sense for everyone, especially young people with a short credit history. The same goes if you’re shopping for a mortgage, auto loan, insurance, or a new credit card. That’s because you’ll have to temporarily lift the freeze using a pin code each time you apply for a new line of credit. (Companies you already do business with can still access your report.) You may also need to suspend the freeze to get an apartment, utility service, or a job that requires a background check.

    Suspending your credit file freeze isn’t cheap. You’ll typically pay another $10 a pop, and the process can take up to 10 business days. To check fees in your state and get instructions on how to place a credit freeze, go to consumersunion.org/securityfreeze.htm.

     

    If you live in South Florida, call MicroShred 1.866.GO.SHRED (1.866.467.4733) and we will come to your home or work and make sure that your identity stays your identity. We use responsible, bonded service personnel to handle your confidential data. All material is shredded on-site, where you can watch if you wish. Shredding is done inside our trucks with state-of-the-art “shear shredders” that for total security, render material impossible to reconstruct. Shredded material is automatically compacted and transported to paper recycling facilities.


    WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A SHREDDING SERVICE?

    Convenience – Your company avoids the responsibility, expense, and clutter of buying, maintaining, and operating your own shredding equipment. Our service can be personalized to fit your company’s needs. Whether you need a document shredding service on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis – you tell us how often, we’ll be there.

    Affordable cost – Utilizing a shredding service is only pennies per pound. Charges are by the frequency that the containers are serviced or by the time the service takes, whichever method is more cost effective you.

    Free Storage Containers – We provide free locked security containers which are individually keyed for each client. They are equiped with a one-way slot to conveniently store and secure documents designated for shredding. Our personnel empties the containers, destroys the content in our commercial shredding trucks at your location, and takes the shredded paper to be recycled. No sorting is necessary.

     

    2 responses to “Put the Freeze on Identity Theft”

    1. I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

      Robert Michel

    2. “Suspending your credit file freeze isn’t cheap.”

      I disagree. Consider the option of credit monitoring or insurance, neither of which actually do anything to protect your credit and both are far, far more expensive than a credit freeze. With a freeze, you only pay when you need new credit accounts (and how many times a year do you do that?). Also, you only have to unfreeze your credit for ONE company, not all three. Just find out which credit reporting company the bank uses. Lastly, you say that it can take up to 10 days to thaw, but many states are REQUIRING a simple phone or Internet process that takes less than 15 minutes to take effect. Since they can do it for one state, they can do it for all so the delay argument will dry up soon (as soon as any state law takes effect).

      Of course, the credit reporting companies can refuse to make the process easy for some states, but I expect they’ll get sued if they do that.

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