Four Steps to Freeze Your Credit

Scammers want to take your identity and use your credit.  

Freeze your credit at the 4 credit bureaus and check your credit rating annually at each.

Identity theft, described in Wikipedia, is “the theft of personally identifying information, generally including a person’s name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, bank account or credit card numbers… or any other information that can be used to access a person’s financial resources.” If the thief is successful, our worst fears are then realized and we may have a multiple months-long journey to reverse the results. 

With the Equifax and other breaches, it becomes imperative to take steps to protect your identity, especially when it touches your financial resources. 

  • Freeze Your Credit File – If your personal information is stolen, thieves can use your personal information to make loans or set up new credit cards in your name at their address. You won’t receive bills, so your first clue that something is a problem will likely be a collection agency hounding for unpaid bills or delinquent charges that you didn’t make. You will likely think these are the previously described scam cold calls, but sadly they will not be!  So, freeze your credit file at the 4 major credit bureaus, as follows:
  1. Equifax – go to, scroll down and click on Place or Manage a Freeze. then follow the instructions.
  2. Experian – go to, scroll down and click on Security Freeze, then follow instructions.  
  3. TransUnion – go to, click on Resources, click on Credit Freeze and follow instructions.
  4. Innovis™ – go to, scroll down and click on Security Freeze, then follow instructions.  
  5. Each of these companies, to varying degrees, try to upsell you to pay for increased “protection.” I strongly recommend starting with a free freeze!  Once you have completed the freeze process at each of these credit bureaus, it should prevent a thief from making a loan or opening a credit card without your knowledge.  All credit freezes are free thanks to Federal law.  You can selectively unfreeze for new credit needs from new creditors; then refreeze when their needs are satisfied. As more people are doing this, the credit bureaus now allow specification of an unfrozen time period, which when expired, your file is automatically refrozen. A freeze doesn’t impact prior and current creditors. 


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