Just the thought of becoming a victim to identity theft is sickening. I can imagine the anguish of every one who already experienced it. Although, most of us play it safe and have some safety measures in place, in this day and age when we can become victims easily, we can never be sure that any measure is bullet proof.
However, there is one step that we can do to avert it provided that we are willing to go through the process. Activating “fraud alert” is good enough but one good fix is to put a freeze on our credit. This will prohibit anyone from opening new credit accounts in our behalf. But there is a catch.
If you are not a victim of identity theft, you can have your credit frozen for free with the three credit bureaus. If you are NOT a victim, you’ll have to pay a fee to each of the credit bureaus to activate the freeze and the fee varies from state to state. Apart from that, should you lift the freeze if you need to apply for any credit/loan, there is also a corresponding fee and to refreeze it, you will then have to pay the activation fee again.
I know, it’s a hefty price tag for protection. But it makes sense for someone who rarely applies for new credit, and a very smart move for those who have already been victims of identity theft.