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Loose Cannon

Pretty Good Advice

Question

FROM: Consumer Reports

RE: If you believe you were a victim of the Ebenefits information breach, this sounds like pretty good advice from CR Magazine. Of course, to get this for free, the VA will have to provide you with some form of their culpability...don't count on that happening any time soon. Even if it costs a few bucks it may be well worth it in the long run.

LC

Here's what they suggest:

Monitor your financial statements and credit reports for suspicious activity that can lead to identity theft. If your credit cards are lost or stolen, you dont need LifeLock to notify your financial institutions to cancel and replace them.

If your Social Security number is out there, we suggest that you put a security freeze on your credit reports at the big three credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnion. That will prevent creditors from accessing your file if a crook tries to open a new account in your name. Without access, creditors are likely to deny a credit application.

If youre not yet a victim of identity theft, you might have to pay $3 to $20 (depending on where you live) to freeze your accounts at each bureau. When you apply for new credit, insurance, or utility service, there might be similar fees to remove the freeze.

But there is usually no charge if youre already a victim of ID theft. Credit bureaus consider credit- and debit-card theft as identity theft, so it should be easier for you to get free freezes. You generally must provide a police report to prove your claim, so make sure you file one right after your credit or debit card or wallet is stolen.

Ditto if your home has been burglarized; your computer, cell phone, or other device has been lost or stolen; you receive notification that your personal data has been breached; or you discover unauthorized transactions in your bank or investment accounts.

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Thanks for the tips, LC!

With everyone and their brother requiring your sensitive info to operate (rental applications, utilities, banks, employers, ad infinitum...) I'd be more surprised if my data Hadn't been stolen.

Kind of a drag the onus is put on the consumer when credit cards come in the mail unsolicited etc

BUT- what can ya do? Well, you gave us some good steps :smile:

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This is very good advice. My wife and I locked our credit several years ago after we learned that someone close to us had the information and motive to be dangerous. So far, we haven't had a problem. Basically, with your credit locked, no one can open a line of credit using your information if a credit check is required...which is true for almost every legitimate lender or creditor. That includes you. So if you get one of those offers at the store checkout to reduce your bill if you open a credit card account on the spot, you'd have to take the step of unlocking your credit right then and there.

Costs and fees for the locking and unlocking service are based on the state you live in.

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""If your Social Security number is out there, we suggest that you put a security freeze on your credit reports at the big three credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnion.""

I wonder who owns these agencies. how did they get to be the big cahoonas of the credit world.

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""If your Social Security number is out there, we suggest that you put a security freeze on your credit reports at the big three credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnion.""

I wonder who owns these agencies. how did they get to be the big cahoonas of the credit world.

"If your Social Security number is out there"

It is, due to day to day transactions, insurance, medical treatment, and so forth.

The "last four" is a common request/requirement these days.

That, along with other information, can allow those who know how to reconstruct

the complete number.

The first needed information has to do with birth information and where and when the SS number

was originally issued. Many will have the same location for birth and SS issue. Even more so today.

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"If your Social Security number is out there"

It is, due to day to day transactions, insurance, medical treatment, and so forth.

The "last four" is a common request/requirement these days.

That, along with other information, can allow those who know how to reconstruct

the complete number.

The first needed information has to do with birth information and where and when the SS number

was originally issued. Many will have the same location for birth and SS issue. Even more so today.

Hey Chuck,

Not sure if you get what we're talking about.

In a nutshell:

FACTS: The Ebenefits site had a breach of information recently. It affected a minimum of 5,000 veterans. Much personal info including FULL SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS were released over the internet.

The post was just a suggestion some may want to take, however thank you for your additional insight.

LC

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