Financial Fraud

These are the online resources I reference in my presentation, Recognizing and Preventing Financial Fraud.

Password Managers

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. or 800-685-1111 • or 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) • or 888-909-8872

Request your free, annual credit report from each of those agencies by going to 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,

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:

  • ChexSystems
  • National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange
  • Medical Information Bureau

Report and Get Help

Go to 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

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 You do not need to be a member to access the service.

Financial Help During the Pandemic

The American Recovery Plan provides several forms of financial assistance. Learn more here about student loan forbearance, mortgage forbearance, economic impact payments, and how filing your income taxes for 2020 could get you a substantial refund - even if you owe no tax. .

Freeze Your Credit Reports for Free

As of September 21, 2018, anyone can freeze, unfreeze, or temporarily thaw a credit report for free. You must do this separately with each of the three major credit reporting agencies: or 800-685-1111 or 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) or 888-909-8872

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