Anyone with concerns about their data should…
- Monitor their credit reports
- Obtain a fraud alert
- Place a security freeze on their credit
How can I review my credit report?
Federal law requires credit reporting companies to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you request it. You can access your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
What is a fraud alert?
A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you personally before they open any new accounts.
How do I place a fraud alert on my account?
To place a fraud alert, you will need to contact any one of the three major credit bureaus (as soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, they will notify the others to place fraud alerts).
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
How long does a fraud alert last?
An initial fraud alert lasts one year and it is free; you may then renew the fraud alert.
Will a fraud alert stop me from using my credit cards?
No. A fraud alert will not stop you from using your credit cards or other accounts.
Can I still apply for a credit card or loan after I place a fraud alert on my credit report?
Yes, but the verification process may be more cumbersome. Potential creditors will receive a message alerting them to the possibility of fraud and that creditors should re-verify the identity of a person applying for credit.
How do I place a Security Freeze on my credit files and how much does it cost?
If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may request a “Security Freeze” be placed on your credit file, at no cost to you. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the consumer reporting agencies from releasing your credit report or any information from it without your express authorization. You may place a security freeze on your credit report by sending a request in writing, by mail, to all three nationwide credit reporting companies. To find out more on how to place a security freeze, you can use the following contact information:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
TransUnion Security Freeze
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
To place the security freeze, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.
How should patients or staff report incidents of suspected or actual identity theft or fraud?
We encourage anyone who suspects identity theft or fraud to report the incident at www.identitytheft.gov, a federal resource for identity theft victims.