We mentioned in a story recently that there are many fraudulent unemployment claims being submitted in Kansas. Odds are, you or someone you know has been impacted by these fraudulent claims. One of the steps to take if this happens to you is to make sure you’re watching your credit activity. There are plenty of credit monitoring services out there that will charge you a monthly fee to monitor your credit for you. But there’s a free solution available to you at least through April 2021.
AnnualCreditReport.com is a website you can use to get free credit reports from all three credit reporting services. Normally, you can do this once per year. But due to the pandemic, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are offering free weekly online reports through April 2021. If you’re curious about your current credit score, or want to see if any recent activity is fraudulent or affecting your credit, it would be worth your time to get a free credit report for all the details. You could even set a reminder on your calendar to do this monthly to self-monitor your credit.
To get your free credit reports, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
Did you know you can freeze your credit?
A credit freeze (also known as a security freeze) is a free tool that lets you restrict access to your credit report. This makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Why? Because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your report, they may not extend the credit.
A credit freeze does not affect your credit score. And if you turn on a credit freeze, you can still get your free annual credit report (or monthly through April 2021.) You can still open a new credit account (credit card, auto loan, etc.) but you will have to temporarily lift the credit freeze for that to happen. And it’s free to set up a credit freeze and turn it off.
Note: this won’t help with fraudulent activity on your existing accounts… you still need to monitor bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
For more information on freezing your credit, visit consumer.ftc.gov.