Tips to protect your financial accounts using the credit bureaus

If  you believe you’re a victim of identity theft, you should contact one of the three credit bureaus to implement a “fraud alert” on your credit account. This step is important because it makes it more difficult to identity thieves to open additional accounts, such as accounts on your behalf. This also helps prevent identity thieves to contact tax refunds into bank accounts that they themselves have created or that open lines of credit to your name.

IRS and State Tax Data Theft Prevention

The IRS has partnered with state tax agencies and tax industry to ensure that you understand the dangers that threaten your personal and financial information. Taxes. Security. United. Working in collaboration with you, we can make a difference. If you think you’re a victim of identity theft, contact a credit agency that can help you in many ways, even to protect their tax information.

Contacting Main Credit Bureaus

The three main credit bureaus are:
www.Equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance; 888-766-0008.
www.Experian.com/fraudalert; 888-397-3742.
www.TransUnion.com/fraud; 800-680-7289.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you need contact only one of the three agencies to request a fraud alert. The credit Bureau that you select must inform other agencies request a fraud alert. You will receive a letter from each of the credit bureaus. The letter will confirm that already settled a fraud on your account alert. Fraud alerts are free and remain in force for 90 days but you can renew it. These provide you with warning signals to other businesses where thieves may be trying to open accounts for legitimate businesses to take extra steps to verify identities.

 

There are three types of fraud alerts available:

The initial fraud alert. If you are concerned about identity theft, but you are not a victim, this type of fraud alert protect your credit against the access not verified, at least 90 days. You should perhaps place a fraud on your account alert if lost wallet, social security card or if stolen or lost another personal or financial information.
The fraud alert extended. For victims of identity theft, this fraud alert protect your credit for seven years.
Active duty military alert. For members of the armed forces who want to protect their credit while they are serving, this fraud alert works a year.

Requesting Free Credit Report

In addition, you should request your free credit report right away to ensure that identity thieves have not open additional accounts. Visit the website annualcreditreport.com, operated by the three credit bureaus, or call 877-322-8228. If you want stronger protections, or if it was part of a filtering of data, you may consider freezing your credit, made employing these additional protections but that commonly charges a fee that varies by State.
A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, allows you to restrict access to your credit report, which makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. To do this, you must contact each of the three credit bureaus. What is the difference between a fraud alert and a credit freeze? A credit freeze puts a lock on your credit. A fraud alert permits creditors to obtain a copy of your credit report provided that additional steps are taken to verify their identity. At the moment where they grant you your request to freeze their credit, each credit agency will send you a letter with a number of individual identification (PIN) or password. Keep this PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you then wish to cancel the freeze.
If you request a line of credit, a loan or a job, you will need to temporarily lift the credit freeze action so that the business can confirm your credit history. It also charges a fee to lift the credit freeze action.
To learn more about additional steps you can take to protect your personal and financial information, please visit taxes. Security. United. You can also read the publication 4524, awareness of security to taxpayers.
Every taxpayer has a number of fundamental rights to be taken into account when dealing with the IRS. These are the rights of the taxpayer. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them at IRS.gov.