scams-and-fraud

New to the Live Richer Challenge: Credit Edition? Learn more about it HERE.

 

Week 3: Credit Maintenance

Day 19: Scams and Fraud

Today’s Easy Financial Task: Protect your identity and credit from scams and fraud.

How to rock this task:

  • Set up a fraud alert or credit freeze if necessary
  • Use optoutprescreen.com to opt out of credit card and insurance preapproval offers to gain control of who gets access to your credit history

 

Welcome to Day 19!

The purpose of today’s task is to make sure that you remain vigilant. Technology is always evolving, so it’s easier than ever for scammers to get access to your personal information and use it for their financial gain.

Fortunately, you can take steps to limit the chances of your identity getting stolen and minimize the damage a scammer can do to your credit if you suspect identity theft.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself:

 

Never save your login information: Many websites give the option to save your username and password for the next time you log in. Never save this information. If someone untrustworthy gets their hands on your device, they get an all access pass to your entire life.

 

Don’t use the same username and password for all of your accounts. This includes email, social media, bank, and credit card accounts. If someone figures out how to get into one account, they have access to each one.

 

Don’t share personal information through email: Emails can get intercepted and networks can get hacked, so avoid using it to exchange sensitive information.

 

Sign up for credit monitoring: Always monitor your credit report to catch inconsistencies right away to minimize the impact of identity theft if it does happen.

Remember, you’re entitled to a free credit report from each credit bureau annually. (For a refresher on where you can get your credit report for free, go back to Day 3.) You can sign up for FREE credit monitoring with Credit Sesame HERE.

 

Set up fraud alerts: If you suspect someone has stolen your identity or someone is misusing your personal information, you can set up fraud alerts with the credit bureaus.

When a fraud alert is activated, a company has to take the extra step of double-checking your identity when an application is received before offering credit. This extra verification step can make it harder for a scammer to commit fraud in your name.

An initial fraud alert lasts for 90 days and is free to set up. Once the 90 days end, you have the option to renew the fraud alert. You can set up fraud alerts here:

 

Set up a credit freeze (or security freeze): Credit freezing is another layer of security that’s even tighter than a fraud alert. Credit freezing locks your credit report entirely.

To allow a company, employer, or financial institution to pull a report, you’ll have to temporarily lift the credit freeze. Unlike the fraud alerts, credit freezing and unfreezing may cost you between $3 and $10 depending on your state. You can set up credit freezes here:

 

Monitor your bank and credit card accounts: Besides keeping an eye out for new accounts taken out in your name, you should be mindful of your existing accounts as well. Review your bank and credit card statements to pick up on unfamiliar charges.

 

Sign up for up to $50,000 in FREE identity theft insurance: Use Credit Sesame. Again, when you sign up for Credit Sesame’s free credit monitoring, they’ll automatically give you $50,000 identity theft insurance, plus live access to talk to identity restoration specialists for freeeeeeee.
Sign up here: https://creditsesame.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=38&aff_id=441

 

 

Opt-Out of Unwarranted Prescreens from Credit Card and Insurance Companies

We briefly discussed how credit card and insurance companies might prequalify you for products without you knowing. I also mentioned there’s a way to opt-out of these pre-screenings.

Remember, these offers don’t impact your credit score since it’s a soft pull on your credit, but they can be nuisance junk mail. Plus, you don’t want the offers to get in the wrong hands. You are entitled to opt-out of these screenings to limit junk mail and to unlist yourself from company databases.

You can do so for free at www.optoutprescreen.com. Opting out of the list lasts for five years or you can choose to do it permanently.

In today’s task, we covered many ways to protect your identity and I can’t stress enough the importance of staying cautious. Going through credit and identity repair after fraud is a long and challenging process. Do what you can now to prevent it from happening.

 

As a recap, here are the actions you can take right now to protect your identity:

1.) Go to each of the websites where you manage your financial accounts online and remove the saved username and password.

2.) Switch up your username and passwords so they’re not all the same. Write down your username and passwords and keep them somewhere safe.

3.) Set fraud alerts or credit freezes on your account if you’re in a situation now where you believe someone may have access to your private information.

4.) Sign up for Identity Protection

5.) Opt-out of company pre-screens if you want to stop getting preapproved for products.

 

That’s a wrap for today’s task.

Leave a comment below or reach out to your accountability partner(s) if you have any questions.

Share what you’ve learned today with your tweeps:

Today I learned how to protect myself from identity fraud. Day 19: #Liverichercredit Click To Tweet

Live richer,

Tiffany

 

You can reach out to me here:

Twitter: @thebudgetnista

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*** Need Help? Feeling Overwhelmed? Want to work with someone one-on-one to improve your credit? Netiva “The Frugal CrediTnista” is offering her renowned, full credit improvement services & consultations at a special discounted price just for Dream Catchers! Learn more and get the help you need. Start with Netiva’s FREE consultationHERE. ***

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My Lisa Rule: I have 4 sisters and Lisa is the baby (well she’s not a baby anymore). Of all of my sisters, I’m the most protective over her. Before I share any product or service with you, it must pass my Lisa Rule.

What’s the Lisa Rule? If I would not advise Lisa to use a product or service, I won’t advise you to either. YOU are my Lisas. I feel protective over you and your financial journey.

The products and services I recommend pass my Lisa Rule. Yes, I may be an affiliate and earn a commission off of referrals, but I would not recommend a product or service that I didn’t believe was helpful and useful.

 

 

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  • Katina Carmouche

    I am sorry i asked this question on the facebook group wall and i only got one responses I have a question I looked on all 3 of my credit reports to c what is on their and need to come off.
    1. When determining when something is to old does it goes by the date it was opened with the collection company? And does it matter if they are still reporting on it does it still fall of after 7 yrs? For example I have a bill that has been on my credit since 11-17-2010. Do I have to wait til that date for it to fall off r to even dispute it off?
    2. On all 3 of my credit report some have the same thing on them some will have something else that may not be on another one. So my question is what do I do on one of my reports the accounts are opened and the one the other 2 reports the are closed what does this mean? Do I still pay them or wait for them to fall off?
    I am lost and don’t know what to do but this was off the free credit report sight and does anyone know the numbers I can call to get all 3 credit reports mailed to me. PLEASE HELP LOL

    • Seva_B

      Some companies report to all three credit bureaus while some only report to one or two.

      If it is not past the statute, you want to pay it and/or negotiate to reduce how much you pay to get it off your report.

      Check out the videos that Tiffany did with the lady from Magnify Money. Day #7 and day #14. You will get your answer to both questions. Good luck.

    • Leilani Mayfield

      I got a call yesterday from a collection agency for a bill from 2004. I told the representative that I was unwilling to acknowledge this debt as I have not spoken with anyone regarding this account over 10 years and that is was not on my current credit report. I spoke with 3 different people, was given 3 different amounts, but eventually told that the debt remains but due to age of account, they are no longer reporting it to the credit bureau. I am paying off everything on my credit report. I am negotiating with the collection agencies on my medical bills to pay off account and have credit report updated. If your debt is within the 7 year period, I would negotiate payment. I would call company about the account and asked for verification it was closed. However, it may have been closed due to a charge off.