The freeze is on the first page of Yahoo! today, February 21st. Word must be getting out that the security freeze is a good tool for consumers to use to help prevent new identity theft and fraud.
What does that mean?
It means that a new creditor won’t be able to access your credit files unless you let them. It means that fraudsters can’t take your personal information and open up new credit cards when you have the freeze on your credit files. It means you will have more peace of mind that new accounts won’t be opened without you knowing about them…until months or years later when undoing them turns into an incredible nightmare!
The freeze is NOT the fraud alert. The fraud alert is free, and an initial 90-day alert can be placed by anyone who thinks they may be an ID theft victim. An extended 7 year alert is reserved for ID theft victims only. BUT, the fraud alert does NOT prevent the bureaus from providing a credit report or credit score that that new creditor. The fraud alert is only a red-flag. The freeze well, freezes your account to new creditors.
How much is it? How do I get it? What do I do?
You can get a security freeze placed on your credit files yourself. You need to make a request with each of the 3 large credit bureaus. Fees vary from state to state. To find out more information on the security freeze, and how to get it, please visit www.consumersunion.org/finance/FPNLearnMore.htm
Here’s a link to Suze Orman’s article on the freeze from Yahoo!