Checking your credit is paramount to protecting your identity. Checking your credit allows you to see if there have been any fraudulent charges using your personally identifiable information, or PII. Legislation has been in place for years to allow free annual credit checks. Did you notice the emphasis on “annual?”
Up until recently, the law allowed for only one credit check every 12 months. However, in response to the impacts from COVID-19, the three credit bureaus decided, in a joint act, to allow for weekly free credit checks. This enhanced joint act is in effect until April 2021.
Where to get your credit reports?
To get your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only site authorized by law to give you free access to your credit.
Beware of imposter sites and other online tools claiming to be legitimate. Many want money up front for access to your information. Worse, some are online scams designed to steal your identity – the very thing that you are trying to protect. It’s good to be aware of their tactics: they often use similar branding, lookalike web sites and other online ploys designed to steer you away from the legitimate site. Be sure to use only AnnualCreditReport.com to check your credit reports.
What do the reports give you?
These free credit reports do not provide consumers with their credit score, but what they do provide is very important. You can see who, when, and for what someone has accessed your credit file with the bureaus. Criminals want your information so that they can obtain credit and buy things in your name, without paying themselves. That’s why protecting your credit and PII is so important.
Simply put, by accessing your credit reports, you gain valuable insight into where your information has been sent.
Free Identity Monitoring
If you do not want to pull your information manually each time, there are also a number of FREE options for identity monitoring services, including one offered by Mastercard to WBT debit card customers. Check out my blog post on checking your credit and monitoring your identity with this easy process. You simply have to be a current bank customer with an active debit card to proactively monitor your identity.
Wilson Bank & Trust is here for you. Should you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to us online at wilsonbank.com, our mobile app, or call us at (844) WBT-BANK (844-928-2265).
Have another thought, tip or suggestion? Leave it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!