Bad credit comes with many problems, like higher interest rates and rejected home and vehicle loans. That’s why you should look out for the one threat that can tank your credit score: identity theft. If a scammer steals your identity, they can drain your accounts and obliterate your financial security.
Since anyone can buy your private data on the black market, identity theft is easier than ever before. If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, place a fraud alert, change your passwords and let your bank know what’s going on. Tap or click here to freeze your credit and stop the criminals in their tracks.
One way to avoid taking these drastic measures is to monitor your credit reports. That way, you can catch criminals before they open credit card accounts in your name. Of course, that’s not the only way fraudsters and identity thieves attack your financial life.
They also break into your bank account
Running a credit report won’t stop identity thieves who plan who open a bank account in your name. A credit report is just a summary of your past credit accounts; it doesn’t cover savings or checking accounts. Tap or click here to check your credit report for free.
To fully protect yourself, you should check your financial security through a checking account report. This specific type of consumer report reflects your banking history, including your check-writing and transaction history. By running one, you can spot unfamiliar withdrawals.
It’s also an excellent way to stop criminals from opening accounts you know nothing about and bouncing checks. If you aren’t proactive, they could withdrawal thousands in cash to fund their criminal enterprise. Of course, you would be left with the bill.
That’s why you should create a defense plan sooner rather than later. A few preventive measures can go a long way. Tap or click here to set up your financial accounts like you’re going to be hacked.
How to get a checking report
You’ll need to head to a checking account reporting company to get your information. They cannot refuse you since federal law requires them to give you a copy every 12 months if you request them.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours searching for companies to reach out to. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put out a list of consumer reporting companies. Some let you file your report online, while others need to be reached by phone or email.
Here are the companies you can reach out to:
|Certegy Check Services||AskCertegy.com||800-237-3826||Certegy Check Services|
Attn: CFDR Request
P.O. Box 30046
Tampa, FL 33630-3046
Attn: Consumer Inquiry Department
Petaluma, CA 94955-6008
Request report form
Request score form
Security freeze information
Security freeze form
Attn: Consumer Relations
7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
|Early Warning Services||EarlyWarning.com||800-325-7775 (Option 4)||Early Warning|
Attn: Consumer Services Department
16552 North 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
|Global Payments Check Services||Globalpaymentsinc.com||800-638-4600 (Option 2)||Global Payments Check Services, Inc.|
Attn: FACT ACT Support
Chicago, IL 60659
|TeleCheck Services||FirstData.com/telecheck||800-366-2425||Telecheck Services, Inc.|
Attn: Consumer Resolution Services
P. O. Box 6806
Hagerstown, MD 21741-6806
Click here for the CFPB’s guide to consumer reporting companies. You’ll find some helpful tips on how to request your report there. Of course, it varies from company to company.
Find something sketchy in your report? Here’s what to do
Look over your reports in detail. Don’t recognize an account? Report it right away.
Call the bank and ask them to close the account so there can be no further transactions. Change all of your online account passwords since you don’t know how much information the thief has.
You should also do this
Next, you’ll want to report the identity fraud to the FTC by calling 877-438-4338. If you don’t want to speak on the phone, alert the FTC through this online form. Officials may tell you to file a police report; it all depends on the direness of your situation.
More ways to protect your bank account
Here at Komando HQ, we know how hard it can be to keep track of your financial security protocols. That’s why we work hard to create easy-to-use guides that help you protect your hard-earned money. Here are a few helpful articles full of tips and tricks you can use to boost your financial security.
Change these critical settings to keep hackers out of your bank account
5 tips for secure online banking
Money scams are out of control: How to lock down your bank or payment app