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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported more than 2.1 million cases of identity theft and fraud in 2021.1
Don’t let this large number scare you. If anything, it’s all the more reason to educate yourself about identity theft and arm yourself with powerful monitoring and alert tools to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
Fraudsters don’t have all of the power. There’s a lot you can do to manage vulnerabilities.
Proactively Safeguard Your Sensitive Information
Thieves can’t pretend to be you if they don’t have your personal information. Make getting access to that information as difficult as possible through the following actions:
- Keep your Social Security Number and card in a safe place and never carry it in your wallet.
- Reconsider sharing personal information, such as your birthday or address, on social media.
- Use a unique, strong password for each one of your logins, and don’t share them with anyone.
- Use a monitoring service, such as Identity Champion, to keep an eye out for your personal information and notify you of anything suspicious.
Monitor & Lock Your Credit File
Should an unauthorized person get their hands on your personal info, there are steps you can take to limit what they can do to your credit.
Locking Your Credit File can be helpful in blocking attempts to start new lines of credit in your name, such as a new credit card. Identity Champion’s Complete plan comes with the ability to lock and unlock your ExperianⓇ credit file right in your online portal. In case you’re wondering: locking your credit file is not the same as freezing it. The latter is free but requires making a request to the credit bureau.
Credit Monitoring and Alerts help you keep an eye on your credit file and any suspicious activity. By becoming aware of possible fraud early, you can act quickly to further protect yourself. Varying levels of credit monitoring are included in all Identity Champion plans.
Have a Plan B
Now that you have the basics of identity protection in place, consider taking it a step further by arming yourself with resolution support and insurance.
- Identity Resolution Support is designed to help you restore your identity to its pre-fraud health. The amount of work it takes to get your identity back and in good shape can be really stressful and time-consuming. Having support and assistance from someone who knows what they’re doing can be a huge relief.
- Identity Theft Insurance can cover stolen funds and expenses related to identity resolution. Eligible expenses can include legal fees, child care expenses or lost wages.3
Don’t Forget About Your Kids
Yes, children can be targeted for identity theft too! Fraudsters use the same identity theft techniques on children as they do on adults, and the results can even more damaging. Imagine turning 18 only to realize that your credit has been ruined by an imposter.
Protect your child’s identity by taking the same steps you do for your own: lock or freeze their credit file (if they have one), set up SSN monitoring and alerts, and make sure that your identity insurance provider also covers your children (AAA Identity Champion’s upgraded plans do).
We’re Here to Help Protect Your Identity
There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. Identity Champion can help with many of the recommendations listed here and — better yet — automate a lot of it.
Let us keep a watchful eye on your identity, so you can get back to living your life worry free.