One of the three major credit reporting bureaus is educating consumers about identity theft through a newly launched website.
Equifax on Thursday debuted IdentityProtection.com, which provides tips, stories from real-life ID theft victims and other expert articles about tax identity theft, medical identity theft, child identity theft and more. The site also sells Equifax's ID protection services and gives helpful advice.
The credit bureau said it put together the site after the Federal Trade Commission reported that identity theft remained the top consumer complaint last year. The launch also comes on the heels of Tax Day, April 15, with taxes being another area where ID theft is growing.
In general, one of the best ways to help thwart ID fraud is to keep tabs on your credit cards and credit history. Always verify every transaction on your monthly credit card statement. An unusual purchase could mean someone has your credit card account and more.
Don't forget to pull your free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- every 12 months. If you see a suspicious account that you don't remember opening, contact the credit bureaus right away to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
If you're concerned about fraud and don't plan on applying for new credit, consider placing a freeze on your credit report. That will keep lenders from pulling your report, shutting down a fraudster's ability to apply for credit under your name. Each state charges a nominal fee to freeze and unfreeze a credit report, but the cost could be well worth your peace of mind.
Have you dealt with identity theft? How do you protect yourself now?
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