These are the online resources I reference in my presentation, Recognizing and Preventing Financial Fraud.
Read reviews of password managers from Consumer Reports. If the site prompts you to log in and you do not have an online membership with Consumer Reports, you can access it through your library. Ask your library for instructions about how to access Consumer Reports.
Managing Your Credit Information
Freeze and unfreeze your credit history at each of the three major credit reporting agencies using the contact information below. Or, you can add a fraud alert. For fraud alerts, you only need to contact one of the credit reporting agencies; by law, they will share that request with the other two without any action on your part.
•Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services or 800-685-1111 •Experian.com/help or 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) •TransUnion.com/credit-help or 888-909-8872
Request your free, annual credit report from each of those agencies by going to annualcreditreport.com/. Until April 2021, you can check your credit reports weekly. The three organizations joined together to provide this service during the pandemic. Use the same website to request those, annualcreditreport.com/.
Review Your Files with Other Consumer Reporting Agencies
There are other organizations who collect data about consumers. You may also have the right to obtain reports about that information, dispute incorrect information, or to freeze them. For details, check the annually updated list from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Some of the companies you might be particularly interested in are:
- National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange
- Medical Information Bureau
Report and Get Help
Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report what happened and receive guidance about how to deal with it. This is a largely automated system provided by the Federal Trade Commission. Even if you don’t want to provide any information, you can still benefit from the checklists at identitytheft.gov/Steps.
Tell the Consumer Reports Security Planner what electronic devices you use, what your main concerns are, and what issues you may be facing to get personalized guidance about everything from creating difficult passwords, avoiding scams, safe web browsing, and preventing ID theft. Go to https://securityplanner.consumerreports.org/. You do not need to be a member to access the service.