Pat Starnes' Snippets: 50/50 Chance for Identity Theft - What you can do?

50/50 Chance for Identity Theft - What you can do?

The following article was written by a lender who deals with credit reports on a daily basis. It's scary to think our confidential information could be compromised. I invite each of you to CHECK your information by following the link in the article to see if your information was hacked. 

Equifax is offering free credit protection for one year to anyone who registers.

 

Equifax, an Atlanta based company announced on September 7, 2017 that there may have been a breach of their database sometime between mid-May and the end of July.  This breach puts 143 MILLION consumers at risk. Let's put that in perspective, that is almost HALF of the population.  So what will the hackers do with this information, well the possibilities are endless and the financial cost to the consumer can be staggering.  With hackers now having access to names, social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, etc. they have all of the information necessary to apply for credit. The obvious types would be credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, mortgages, etc.  But in recent years, there has been a surge in tax fraud too.  Imagine a bogus tax return being filed with the Internal Revenue Service using your social security number!!

How can you find out if you are one of the 143 MILLION???  The first step will be to check the Equifax website,  here is the link, CHECK MY INFO to find out if you are at risk.  

Identity theft continues to be a threat for all costing Americans millions.   Here are some suggestions for you to consider to protect yourself:

  • Check your credit report!  You are entitled to a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureuas each year.  Rather than request all three at the same time, request one every 4 months.  That way you have a better chance of catching any problems more quickly.
  • If you are one of the 143 MILLION, sign up for the credit report monitoring service Equifax will be offering.  
  • Carefully monitor ALL of your accounts!  
  • Don't give out non-public personal information on the phone.  If you receive a phone call from a creditor asking you to provide your social security number or date of birth as confirmation, this likely can be a scam.  Protect this information!!
  • DO NOT carry your social security card in your wallet!
  • Do you know you can put a freeze on your credit reports by contacting each of the three credit bureaus? This is a simple process and can stop someone from opening a new account in your name.  
  • If you discover an error on your report, contact the credit bureau reporting it immediately and ask to have it removed.  
  • Don't click on a link in an email from a creditor.  Many of these emails are ph
  • If you suspect someone has filed a tax return using your social security follow the instructions listed on the Internal Revenue Service website.  Here is the link for these instructions.

 

For your convenience, listed below is the contact information for all three credit bureaus

 
EXPERIAN TRANSUNION EQUIFAX
PO BOX 4500 PO BOX 2000 PO BOX 740241
ALLEN, TX 75013 CHESTER, PA 19016 ATLANTA, GA 30374
888-397-3742 800-888-4213 800-685-1111
Experian Transunion Equifax
 

 

 

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Kathy Sheehan Senior Loan Officer

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The opinions and general information in this blog are soley those of Kathy Sheehan.  Specifics regarding an individual case should be discussed in detail with a loan professional.  For a confidential consultation, please feel free to contact me via phone or email.  All terms and conditions are subject to change.

 

Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

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Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 6 commentsPat Starnes, Brandon, MS • September 09 2017 04:26PM

Comments

Hello Pat and a great re-blog for sure that people should know about.  We have more hackers then ever before.

 

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 3 months ago

Hi Pat - this is great to re blog. Most of us were not aware of this breach. 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 3 months ago

Hi Pat,
Good choice for a reblog.   Thanks!

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) 3 months ago

In light of the Equifax hack, I think this topic is going to be paramount in the minds of many.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 3 months ago

This info can't be shared too much or given enough attention, Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS ...  the need for action is very important.  

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) 3 months ago

Great info to share, Pat and as Gene said, it can't be shared enough! We have had all 3 bureaus frozen for years and still were among those who were hacked in the Equifax hack- both of us. UGH!

Hope you're having a wonderful week, Pat!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 2 months ago

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