As an alert to those of you in the Akron area (but useful information for anyone) I wanted to share a few articles from Betty Lin-Fisher of the Akron Beacon Journal covering recent identity theft incidents in the Northeast Ohio area:
plus some excellent tips to protect yourself as well as what you can do if you become the victim of identity theft.
One of the best tips included is to stay aware of your situation by periodically reviewing your credit report. By law you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year.
To obtain a report that is truly free, you should use the official site, www.annualcreditreport.com. Other services may say they are free but often are a bait and switch program that will try to upsell you services and subscriptions you probably do not need.
You do not need to pull all three credit reports at one time. I typically suggest you spread them out over the year, pulling one for review from the first reporting bureau and if all appears well, wait four months to pull the second report and then another four months to pull the third report. Just make sure you keep track of which credit bureau you used and when. In using this method, you are monitoring your credit on a regular ongoing basis and are less likely to allow a troublesome issue from going unattended.
Have questions? Let me know in the comments below.