Freezing your credit is easy and can prevent credit cards from being opened fraudulently in your name. According to LifeLock, identity theft impacted 60 million Americans in 2018. Identity theft is common, due to reasons such as data breaches. While there is nothing you can do about data breaches, you can monitor a credit freeze to protect your credit.
A credit freeze does not affect your credit score. The security freeze is a free tool which lets you restrict access to your credit report. In turn, this makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.
To start freezing your credit, you will need to set up an account at each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
The information you will need to provide to make this request includes name, address, birthday, social security number and other personal information for questions. You will receive a pin that you can use to unfreeze your credit, which is important to keep track of.
To freeze your credit at Equifax visit their website www.equifax.com or call their customer service phone number, 1-888-298-0045.
To freeze your credit at Experian, you can visit their online Freeze Center via www.experian.com. You can also call 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742).
To freeze your credit at TransUnion, visit their website www.transunion.com. You can also add a freeze via their automated phone system by calling 1-888-909-8872.
If you are the victim of identity theft, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.