Freeze Your Credit Report

One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to “freeze” your credit report. This means that no new lines of credit can be opened in your name because lenders are prevented from taking a look at your credit report. This stops identity thieves from opening credit cards under your name and going on spending sprees. It also means extra hassle for you when you want to legitimately open credit. There’s always a tradeoff between security and convenience. Here’s how to do it.

You’ll need to contact each of the three different credit bureaus, Transuion, Exquifax, and Experian. Each freeze will cost you about $10. Each has their own procedure, but they generally require sending a request along with your name, address, SSN, DOB, a proof of address, and a copy of your driver’s license to PO box.

Here are links letting you clearly know what they are:

Equifax
Experian
TransUnion

When you want to open up a new line of credit yourself, you’ll have to contact the credit bureau and pay a fee to unfreeze it. You’ll then have to pay a fee again to freeze it.

It’s a hassle, but compared to the over 60 hours on average an identity theft victim spends untangling their accounts, it could be a bargain.