Aug 12 2008

Identity Theft: How’s Your Credit Rating?

Identity Theft: How’s Your Credit Rating?

You may have seen several TV ads by a major credit card company in the US, which depicts a victim of identity theft. Using a voiceover by the thief, the victim recounts the story by the thief and the spending spree they go on. Is the ad catchy and humorous? At first, yes until it sinks in a few moments later. It makes you stop and think, could this happen to me? Yes!

It is my understanding that in the event you were a victim of identity theft; the burden of proof may be on you to prove your innocence. What steps could we do now to make sure our identity and credit rating is secure and not violated. Ever wondered about what’s in your file and if it’s accurate? Curious consumers may obtain copies of their reports free of charge from the following sources.

Equifax (www.equifax.com/EFX_Canada/ )

I tested this service out myself on this as they provided a toll –free number (1-800-465-7166) and it only took a few minutes to order. You will be giving your SIN # and credit card number for verification (they don’t ask for the expiry date) among other personal information. They already know all this about you, so it’s just verification. In about a week you’ll receive a detail report. You should be able to recognize any credit facility that has checked into your credit history in the past.

Trans Union Canada (www.tuc.ca)

This service is not as straightforward as with Equifax, because their free report requires you to mail in the request. From the main page www.tuc.ca, click on “Personal Solutions”, and then click on “Order Credit Report and Score”, select “Option 2”. Details are provided on where to mail the request and what information to send.

There are also great tips and even a monthly newsletter on how to keep your identity safe.

Identity theft is a real threat. Baseline your credit situation by following the steps listed above. It makes sense to me, what do you think?

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