No-Cost Ways to Keep Safe from Scammers
Security Freeze – If you are over 65 or have been a past victim of identity theft, you can contact the major credit reporting agencies and request a security freeze. This restricts access to your credit history. If businesses can’t see your report, they won’t approve new financial accounts in your name. But beware, if you apply somewhere for credit, they won’t be able to see your report either.
Fraud Alert – Less extreme than a Security Freeze, this is another free service you can request from credit bureaus. It means that any business or financial institution should contact you directly to verify your identity before opening a new account in your name
Free Monitoring – Most banks and credit card companies provide real-time alerts of any suspicious activities. A company known as Credit Karma will also provide free monitoring of your TransUnion credit report.. Credit Sesame will do the same with Experian. Visit the website trustedid.com. You can get alerts if your Social Security number and/or credit card numbers show up on scammers’ black market websites.
Computer Protection Software – There are many good, free anti-virus software programs available on the Internet. There are also additional free protection programs like Malwarebytes that look for hidden programs that may have slipped past your anti-virus software that could be sending your personal information to others without your knowledge. Always remember to get updates for these programs on a regular basis.