October 31, 2019
by Amanda Koulousias
Staff Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, FTC
Starting October 31, many members of the military will have access to a free tool to help spot identity theft. The nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – have confirmed that they will provide free electronic credit monitoring services to active duty servicemembers and National Guard members.
For details on how to sign up, go to the websites for each of the credit reporting agencies.
A credit monitoring service can alert you to mistakes or problems on your credit report that might be the result of identity theft. For example, it would tell you if there’s a new credit card or loan in your name. If you knew about that, great. But if you didn’t, that could be an early warning of identity theft.
Once you have the credit monitoring service, you will be notified by mobile app, email, or text of certain changes to your credit file. These can include changes of address, payments that are more than 30 days late, bankruptcy information, foreclosures, liens, and new accounts opened in your name.
If you find inaccurate or fraudulent information on your credit report, read Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report.
If you find signs of identity theft, visit Identitytheft.gov to get started on recovery.
The wonderful Ronni Bennett put a great "intro to Medicare" guide on her blog "Time Goes By." Very helpful.
Annual Medicare Enrollment Period has Arrived
John Gear is a Salem attorney.