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» Welcome to ScamSafe

This website is a blog about consumer credit, identity theft protection, scams, security, fraud, privacy, credit reports, credit monitoring and credit scores.

Please read our legal notices.


» Free credit freezes and fraud alerts - New September 2018

Free credit freezes (security freezes) and year-long fraud alerts are now the law.

How to set the new free credit freeze.

You can now set and lift credit freezes for free. Fraud alerts, also free, now last for one year instead of 90 days as they used to. These changes are effective September 21, 2018.

Credit freezes, also known as security freezes, restrict access to your personal credit file. This makes it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts using your identity. You can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free. You also can do a free freeze for your children who are under 16. You can get a free freeze on behalf of a person if you are their guardian, conservator or have legal power of attorney.

How do the new freezes work? Contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (Google or go to websites). If you request a freeze online or by phone, the agency must place the freeze within one business day. If you request to lift the freeze, the credit bureaus must do it within one hour. If you request by mail, the agencies must place or lift the freeze within three business days after it receives your request. You also can lift the freeze temporarily without a fee (this is really useful if you want to apply for credit.)

Important: A credit freeze is NOT the same as a credit lock. They work in similar ways. However locks may have fees and are not governed by law. If you want a free freeze guaranteed by federal law, then choose a freeze, rather than a lock. In our opinion, if you get a lock as free with another service, it's worth using. A freeze is the way to go for the best protection.

TransUnion

https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze 
888-909-8872
TransUnion LLC
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016

Equifax 

https://www.freeze.equifax.com/
800-685-1111
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5788

Experian

https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
888-397-3742
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

How to use the new year-long fraud alerts

As of September 21, 2018, if you set a fraud alert, it will last one year, rather than 90 days. Fraud alerts will continue to be free. Victims of identity theft can still get a 7 year extended fraud alert. A fraud alert tells anyone that checks your credit that they should contact you before opening a new account. An alert does not mean that the credit bureaus actually send an alert to you. And it doesn't require that the business checking your credit contact you. In practice, most creditors and lenders will not extend credit if you have a fraud alert without contacting you first.

Military members will still have access to special active duty alerts. These let them place a fraud alert for one year, renewable for the time they are deployed. The active duty alert also requires that the credit reporting agencies take their name off their marketing lists for pre-screened offers of credit or insurance for two years.

To place a fraud alert or active duty alert visit the websites of any of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. You only need to contact ONE. The one you contact must notify the other two of the alert.


Posted on September 21, 2018 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

» White label credit monitoring

Need white label credit monitoring? Check out Truston, a leader in white label credit monitoring. Along with white label credit reports and white label credit scores. And identity protection.


Posted on September 20, 2018 at 08:51 AM | Permalink

» What is the difference between credit freeze and credit lock?

A credit lock is different from a freeze. A credit freeze (aka security freeze) is governed under state laws, credit locks are not.

These are the bureaus' credit lock services. A lock is one feature that may be included with other product benefits.

http://www.experian.com/consumer-products/creditlock.html

https://www.transunion.com/product/credit-lock

http://www.equifax.com/lockandalert/


Posted on September 28, 2017 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

» Equifax Data Breach - 3 Steps To Protect Yourself

What you can do about the Equifax data breach.

  1. Equifax set up a website, equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help you determine if your data was part of the hack (hint: it probably is). Equifax will be providing free credit monitoring to anyone affected. Whether you want to sign up with them after this hack, is up to you.
  2. Set up a fraud alert, for free, by calling one of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. By law, the bureau you contact must share that alert with the other two bureaus. You only need to contact one. The FTC website explains how. An alert does not actually alert you personally! It puts some words on your credit file to inform credit grantors to contact you if anyone applies for credit in your name (including you). They aren't required by law to actually contact you, but most do.
  3. Add a security freeze on your credit file. You may have to pay for this. You must lift it temporarily when you apply for new credit. You have to individually call each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. You'll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10. The FTC has complete details on this.
    Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
    Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742
    TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872

 


Posted on September 8, 2017 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

» Equifax data breach - 143 million US consumers

Equifax reports cybersecurity incident could impact 143 million Americans. It may be one of the few largest breaches in history. Hackers accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. Also, credit card numbers for over 209,000 consumers were accessed. 

EFX discovered the breach on July 29 and the unauthorized accesses took place from mid-May until July.

More: Atlanta J-C 

Three steps to protect yourself from the Equifax data breach

 


Posted on September 7, 2017 at 02:25 PM | Permalink

» White label credit monitoring - Top provider

Truston is a top provider of white label credit monitoring for businesses that need their clients to provide credit reports and credit scores. They can be reached at 800-960-5512 or mytruston.com.


Posted on June 12, 2017 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

» White label credit monitoring

If you need white label credit monitoring, the market leader is Truston. Reach them at (800) 960-5512 or www.mytruston.com. Truston provides private label credit monitoring, white label credit reports, white label credit scores, white label identity protection. Business partners earn one-time or recurring revenue commission. They have a partner program for affiliates.


Posted on March 13, 2017 at 08:41 AM | Permalink

» Credit bureau fraud numbers

Phone numbers to call for customer service at the credit reporting companies if you suspect fraud or identity theft.
 
Experian 800-509-8495 option 2, 2, 3
 
TransUnion 855-681-3196 option 3
 
Equifax 877-528-6481 option 1


Posted on February 12, 2017 at 04:40 PM | Permalink

» Medical identity theft tips

Medical ID theft is a dangerous and growing threat. This article provides some tips to protect yourself. more...


Posted on December 31, 2016 at 06:44 PM | Permalink

» Report on the high identity theft rate in DC

There is a new report that describes that the District of Columbia is the area with the most ID theft and fraud in the United States. more...


Posted on December 31, 2016 at 06:41 PM | Permalink

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