Early detection is your second line of defense
Despite all efforts to prevent identity fraud, it can still occur. The earlier it is detected, however, the more swiftly action can be taken to stop it. Be alert and take immediate action on the following:
- Check your credit reports as frequently as possible - at least twice a year. Under the FACT Act, U.S. consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can check yours here.
- Monitor your account balances and activity electronically (at least once per week).
- If you do not have access to online accounts, review paper bank and credit card statements monthly.
- Follow up with companies if you receive bills for merchandise you did not purchase.
- Follow up with businesses or institutions if you fail to receive an expected bill.
- Request a copy of your credit report if applications for credit are turned down for no apparent reason.
- Keep track of credit card expiration dates. Contact the issuer if you don’t get a replacement before they expire.