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Freeze credit report?
Old 11-02-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Freeze credit report?

Good idea, bad idea?
Have you done this?

Suze Orman was suggesting this, just wanted to check with smart people on this forums
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:25 PM   #2
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froze it about two years ago. No problems.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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I think it's a good idea if you're not planning on originating new loans.

Easy to do and cheap. Why risk the damage (financial and time wasting) of someone setting up debt in your name?
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:20 AM   #4
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I assume she is talking about freezing your credit, not your credit report. Although maybe it amounts to the same thing. With frozen credit, no one will be able to open a new line of credit (new card, car loan, etc) unless you temporarily unfreeze your accounts at the three credit bureaus. I froze mine approximately eight years ago. It is only a problem if you frequently need to unfreeze your credit. For most of us, when we are retired new lines of credit are not needed.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:10 PM   #5
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It's your only real defense against somebody hijacking your credit and identity.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:02 AM   #6
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how much does it cost? do you need to do it with all 3 agencies? what is the procedure?
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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how much does it cost? do you need to do it with all 3 agencies? what is the procedure?
I froze mine online three years ago with all three agencies for $5 each (this varies by state but it will not exceed $10). Recently I applied for an increase in credit line and the lender recommended to unfreeze my report with only the agency they use which was Experian. I did it online for a specific time period (one week) for $5.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
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I just applied for a PenFed VISA and a BoA VISA since both have zero foreign transaction fees. I put a temporary lift on all three credit agencies for $10 each. I was able to do this for each agency online.

I really like having my credit locked down, I think it is well worth the hassle.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen View Post
I just applied for a PenFed VISA and a BoA VISA since both have zero foreign transaction fees. I put a temporary lift on all three credit agencies for $10 each. I was able to do this for each agency online.

I really like having my credit locked down, I think it is well worth the hassle.

+1

I've had mine frozen since my card was cloned in 2012. It wouldn't have helped with the cloned card but it made me realize how vulnerable I might be to identity theft.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:18 PM   #10
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I froze mine a few months ago at all 3 agencies. It took only a few minutes on-line. In NY state, you can temporarily unfreeze it for $5 for each bureau. Well worth the peace of mind.

Just be sure to retain the PIN for each bureau.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:17 PM   #11
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Even more reason to freeze your credit reports - the IRS found that about half the attempts to access detailed tax records through the online "Get Transcript" feature succeeded in answering the questions based on someone's credit file. There is enough information available from free searches or available for purchase from shadow organizations to facilitate this.

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Two months later, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen publicly acknowledged that crooks had used this feature to pull sensitive data on at least 110,000 taxpayers. Today, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported that the IRS is now revising those figures, estimating that an additional 220,000 potential victims had Social Security numbers and information from previous years’ tax filings stolen via the IRS Web site.

“In all, the thieves used personal information from about 610,000 taxpayers in an effort to access old tax returns,” the AP story notes. “They were successful in getting information from about 334,000 taxpayers.”
If the credit file is frozen, however, the ID thieves would be completely blocked from accessing a taxpayers information on IRS.gov or on SS.gov. Note that this information is way more sensitive that your credit card number and code, or even your credit history.

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The IRS’s experience should tell consumers something about the effectiveness of the technology that the IRS, banks and countless other organizations use to screen requests for sensitive information.

As I reported in March, taxpayers who wished to obtain a copy of their most recent tax transcript had to provide the IRS with the following information: The applicant’s name, date of birth, Social Security number and filing status. After that data is successfully supplied, the IRS uses a service from credit bureau Equifax that asks four so-called “knowledge-based authentication” (KBA) questions. Anyone who succeeds in supplying the correct answers can see the applicant’s full tax transcript, including prior W2s, current W2s and more or less everything one would need to fraudulently file for a tax refund.

These KBA questions — which involve multiple choice, “out of wallet” questions such as previous address, loan amounts and dates — can be successfully enumerated with random guessing. But in practice it is far easier, as we can see from the fact that thieves were successfully able to navigate the multiple questions more than half of the times they tried.

Unfortunately, the IRS is not the only government agency whose reliance on static identifiers actually makes them complicit in facilitating identity theft against Americans. The same process described to obtain a tax transcript at irs.gov works to obtain a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com, a Web site mandated by Congress. In addition, Americans who have not already created an account at the Social Security Administration under their Social Security number are vulnerable to crooks hijacking SSA benefits now or in the future. For more on how crooks are siphoning Social Security benefits via government sites, check out this story.
IRS: 330K Taxpayers Hit by ‘Get Transcript’ Scam
http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/08/i...am/#more-31988
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:10 PM   #12
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Good site that describes the process:

Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide | Clark Howard
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #13
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Credit Freeze

I did this several months ago for DW and myself. Cost is $10 per person, per credit bureau. Total $60. Well worth it, IMHO. No reason to thaw so far.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:12 PM   #14
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It pretty critical to keep people from being able to access your tax and social security files.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:09 PM   #15
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Yes, I did this a few months ago also. Cost me 30 bucks total (20 bucks for each credit agency). If you need to thaw it temporarily for some reason, you can (for a small fee), but I don't anticipate having to do that very often, if at all. Gives me peace of mind.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:46 PM   #16
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We are about to take this step.

Before I went on a trip this summer, we were opening a few new accounts, so I couldn't freeze it yet.

And we had already opened accounts for both of us at IRS.gov and SSA.gov, which provided some protection. Now that IRS.gov has taken down their online Get Transcript function, no one can access my tax records.

I'm not too worried about SSA.gov, because I'm pretty sure that once your account has been established, they use your email address to verify any changes plus they have security questions for resetting your password. And you can even add cellphone verification if you choose. Once you have an account setup, you block others trying to use your number.

I think the IRS.gov account had the security questions too. So it seems like they would have some protection. Where they fall down apparently is if someone has a special issued tax ID, as fraud victims can choose, they were using the credit file questions to issue a new one if someone lost the original. OOPS!!!!! They've got to clean that up too!!!
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:53 PM   #17
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For folks with frozen credit files, do you use myannualcreditreport.org to get your 3 credit reports each year?

Aren't they still using these KBA questions that criminals seem to be able to guess at half the time? In that case, it seems that someone could still get a copy of your credit report. They just couldn't access additional info on another site that relies on the KBA questions.

I guess with EXPERIAN - they want the PIN if you have a frozen credit file. But what about the other bureaus?

DH's experience with signing up for something was so dumb. Three of the four questions were about our house - which county, when built, how long have we lived there - or some such. If someone had the address and looked up some basic county tax records online they would find all those answers!!!!!!!

No wonder criminals are getting access to so many people's sensitive data!!!!
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Old 08-20-2015, 02:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gindie View Post
Good site that describes the process:

Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide | Clark Howard
Thanks for the link. Just did the credit freeze which will help me sleep better at night .
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:18 PM   #19
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I froze our credit with the three agencies and managed to do that online with Experian and Equifax with no problem.

With Transunion, I had to call and do it over the phone. They said "maintenance" had to be performed on my data as the reason I could no do this online. A letter will be sent to me from them within 10 days confirming all of this.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:06 AM   #20
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What is required to get credit frozen for free?

Do you have to have a police report documenting that you have, in fact, been a victim? From everything I read, this is a requirement.

It looks like having a letter from a company that states that you have been a victim of a data breach* that includes your DOB, SS# and address is not enough?

In my mind: a victim of identity theft is different from a victim of a data breach. I couldn't find any articles discussing this fine point.

I don't expect that I can take that letter and get a police report filed just because someone "might" have my sensitive data.

Ironically (but infuriatingly so!) the letter is from Experian themselves! They were the ones that had the data breach!!! And of course they are offering free credit monitoring for two years. (We already have credit monitoring from Equifax)

But we'll end up paying them $10.83 for a credit freeze, and $10.83 for each temporary thaw.

Smells like a racket!!!!!

*DH was a victim of the T-Mobile data breach which was Experian's fault as they were the keeper of the data for T-Mobile. When a credit reporting agency is the source of the data breach, something is seriously wrong!!!!!! Unfortunately
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