I hadn’t thought much about identify theft until recently when my email account was hacked. According to an email sent by the hacker, I was in Wales “with tears in my eyes” after being mugged — and needed $1,800. Those receiving the email wisely ignored the plea and the hacker was left to wipe his tears.
Correcting the problems with my account required several lengthy calls to “off shore” tech support and came close to bringing tears of frustration to my eyes. My gosh! What if my identity had been stolen and I had to straighten out a big financial mess?
A few years ago, the Georgia Legislature passed a law that lets an individual, like you, establish a “credit freeze” to seal credit reports so that thieves can’t establish credit in your name even if they were able to obtain your identification. Later, if you need a credit application processed, the account can be “thawed” to permit the valid transaction.
The freeze is not without cost unless you are 65 or over or are a victim of ID theft. For others, the cost is $3 per freeze. Thaws range from free to $10. So, the process for those who are not seniors should be carefully considered with cost and frequency of credit transactions in mind.
A good source for information on the freeze and how to do it is on clarkhoward.com. For a senior, the freeze seems a “no brainer. The only downside is not doing it — until too late.