It’s interesting that you can stop identity thieves cold by freezing your credit report. If you haven’t heard about this, it’s not surprising. According to this article, Credit bureaus aren’t eager to promote it because they make good money pushing other identity theft prevention services. Freezes aren’t currently available in Utah, but credit bureaus are required by law to have them available by next year.
Freezing your credit report will prevent anyone from accessing it; banks, credit card companies, phone companies, insurers, employers, etc…
The fees to freeze your credit report vary by state but seem to average around $10 per freeze (which means $30 total to freeze your report at all three credit bureaus.) You can temporarily un-freeze your report for a fee. At my current rate of required access to my credit report, I’d need to un-freeze it maybe once every 2 years (for a car loan, insurance, or changing mobile phone carriers.)
Here are the steps you need to take to freeze your credit report (Click on the link to verify the information provided on each bureau’s website):
Your request must include your name, address, Social Security Number and a credit card number and expiration date to pay the applicable fee, if any, for the service. Please also include proof of your current residence, such as a state issued identification card or driver’s license.
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834.
Your request must be sent via certified mail and should include the following information:
3. Date of Birth
4. Social Security Number
5. Proof of current address such as a current utility bill
6. Payment of applicable fees to request a security freeze of your credit file ( State Freeze Requirements and Fees to determine fees for your state). We accept personal checks, American Express, Mastercard, VISA, and Discover Cards for payment of fees.
7. If you are an identity theft victim and are requesting a security freeze you must also include a copy of a police report, Identity Theft report, or other government law enforcement agency report, such as a DMV report.
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
Requests must include all of the following: full name, with middle initial and generation, such as JR, SR, II, III, etc.; Social Security number; date of birth (month/date/year); current address; and previous addresses for the past two years. In addition, enclose one copy of a government issued identification card, such as a driver’s license, state or military ID card, etc., and one copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, etc., and make sure that each copy is legible (enlarge if necessary), displays your name and current mailing address, and the date of issue (statement dates must be recent).
Send via certified or overnight mail to:
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013