Anyone else freeze their credit score?

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blueman457
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Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by blueman457 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:47 am

The Equifax hack was the straw the broke the camel's back. I froze my wife's and my credit at the 3 major bureaus and Innovis. It's going to be a pain to unfreeze it when we apply for a mortgage, but that is the life we live in now-a-days.

Anyone freeze their credit?

Blue Man

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:57 am

blueman457 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:47 am
The Equifax hack was the straw the broke the camel's back. I froze my wife's and my credit at the 3 major bureaus and Innovis. It's going to be a pain to unfreeze it when we apply for a mortgage, but that is the life we live in now-a-days.

Anyone freeze their credit?

Blue Man
We've had our credit frozen for a long time.

This "Equifax hack" may be particularly widespread, but these security breaches aren't at all new.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Gnirk
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Gnirk » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:59 am

Yes, froze it yesterday. Retired, no need for new credit.

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BTDT
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by BTDT » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:02 am

I froze mine years ago. I recently purchased a new truck and financed a small portion. To un freeze takes a couple of minutes. Ask your lender who they are using for the credit check and than simply unlock that frozen account using the pin they previously provided. Cost ten bucks and you can limit un-freeze to one day. A side benefit is the credit card/loan sharks leave you alone because you have no credit. It seems when a credit check is initiated the credit bureau doesn't say your account is frozen they simply reply that you have zero credit :beer
If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.

NorCalDad
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by NorCalDad » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:04 am

I'd been maximizing credit card point offers for travel, so I didn't freeze our reports, but I'm doing so now. This breach seems much bigger than any of the ones before.

harrychan
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by harrychan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:13 am

blueman457 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:47 am
The Equifax hack was the straw the broke the camel's back. I froze my wife's and my credit at the 3 major bureaus and Innovis. It's going to be a pain to unfreeze it when we apply for a mortgage, but that is the life we live in now-a-days.

Anyone freeze their credit?

Blue Man
Right behind you. I had everything printed out a few years ago but never went through with it. Will be doing so this weekend.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Rainmaker41
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Rainmaker41 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:16 am

I agree with the first poster; we've preemptively declared war on thieves...

- We froze our credit with the three bureaus as well as Chexsystems (used for new bank accounts).

- Verified two-factor authentication was in place for financial accounts & verified email alerts for all non-credit card transactions.

- Setup two-factor authentication for Google accounts & installed Chrome browser extensions to block tracking and force connection to secure versions of websites. Financial accounts will now only be accessed by phone app or Chromebook.
My username is not about money, but is my old online gaming username. I can't say that I make a great deal of money; I just hate spending it. Marrying the most loving woman in the world October 2017.

MoneyBagsRx
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by MoneyBagsRx » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:20 am

Can someone help me understand something? If everything is frozen and then a loan is paid off, will that continue to be updated in someone's credit history? Or the fact that it is frozen, no changes can be made?

mmmodem
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by mmmodem » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:26 am

Please educate me. Why freeze your credit when you rarely or don't need to apply for credit?

1. I've never had to pay for credit fraud. Once reported, the false charges are removed. The investigation may take months but I am reimbursed if I've already been charged.
2. It costs money to freeze our credit.
3. It costs money and complication to unfreeze it.
4. When new credit is applied, I'm contacted anyway that a new account has been opened and need to verify it

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F150HD
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by F150HD » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:32 am

Rainmaker41 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:16 am

- Verified two-factor authentication was in place for financial accounts & verified email alerts for all non-credit card transactions.

- Setup two-factor authentication for Google accounts.....
Not sure 2 factor is all that great (?)

A hacker could call Sprint AT&T etc and port your phone # to a new phone they could use it to access all connected accounts and change the passwords or drain them.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurash ... 984360f7

ResearchMed
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:34 am

mmmodem wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:26 am
Please educate me. Why freeze your credit when you rarely or don't need to apply for credit?

1. I've never had to pay for credit fraud. Once reported, the false charges are removed. The investigation may take months but I am reimbursed if I've already been charged.
2. It costs money to freeze our credit.
3. It costs money and complication to unfreeze it.
4. When new credit is applied, I'm contacted anyway that a new account has been opened and need to verify it
Identity theft isn't as "easy" to deal with as a fraudulent charge to a charge card.
And if "they've" got that done, then it might not be "you" who is notified of new accounts... but the "others" who are fraudulently parading as you.
Then... on to your other financial accounts... and more...

It can create a huge mess, one not easy to clear up.

It doesn't cost much to freeze accounts, and if you aren't needing new credit, you won't need to pay these costs again (or not for some years in states where the freezing is unfrozen after a few years).

RM
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Rainmaker41
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Rainmaker41 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:40 am

F150HD wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:32 am
Rainmaker41 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:16 am

- Verified two-factor authentication was in place for financial accounts & verified email alerts for all non-credit card transactions.

- Setup two-factor authentication for Google accounts.....
Not sure 2 factor is all that great (?)

A hacker could call Sprint AT&T etc and port your phone # to a new phone they could use it to access all connected accounts and change the passwords or drain them.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurash ... 984360f7
Yes, a thief could go into the phone store, 'upgrade' to a new phone, and port my number to the new one, turning mine into a brick. They would still also need the login information for accounts, and in any case it would be a dead giveaway prompting me to grab the nearest available phone and call Vanguard and my bank to lock down my accounts.
My username is not about money, but is my old online gaming username. I can't say that I make a great deal of money; I just hate spending it. Marrying the most loving woman in the world October 2017.

MnD
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by MnD » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:47 am

Nope - not going to pay money and spend time creating an ongoing cost and inconvenience for myself and family.
We make 5-figures annually getting using premium reward cards and save a lot of other money by having and using a high credit score (insurance rates etc.) Just checked equifax site and got the not affected screen for both of us but I figure the basic PII that's being discussed has been hacked numerous time in the past.

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CaliJim
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by CaliJim » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:52 am

Yes. I've frozen everything, and use two-factor auth for everything.

[I don't use much credit and don't consume enough to make 5 figures in CC rewards. (And I detest the idea of rewards cards in general... this type of mkt program just raises the overall CC processing expenses and price levels in general; so good for some, bad for most, but that is another topic.)]
-calijim- | | For more info, click this

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dandan14
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by dandan14 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:09 pm

Sure. I've had mine frozen for about 10 years. I thaw it a few times a year for a specific reason. Takes about 10 minutes to thaw all 3.

miles monroe
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by miles monroe » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:40 pm

i froze mine a couple years ago and have only needed to thaw it once.

of course, the true boglehead strategy would be to wait until they are a victim of identity theft. then you can freeze it with no charge. :)

Coachrhino11
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:56 pm

CaliJim wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:52 am
Yes. I've frozen everything, and use two-factor auth for everything.

[I don't use much credit and don't consume enough to make 5 figures in CC rewards. (And I detest the idea of rewards cards in general... this type of mkt program just raises the overall CC processing expenses and price levels in general; so good for some, bad for most, but that is another topic.)]
Agree. It's pretty dang frustrating if you ask me. People like to say everything is 2% higher already because CC, you are right and you are reason! Not all of us like to be massive consumers even if we can. Now insurance companies penalize those with assets and debt free because they choose not to play games.

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:01 pm

We froze our accounts with all 5 systems yesterday online plus one phone call with TransUnion because they had inaccurate info about where our S is living. We froze the big 3 plus ChexSystems and Innovis. The latter two we were not charged and they were recommended on a few places as well.

We have all the CCs we need, all the banks and brokerages we need and do NOT anticipate needing loans in the near future. If we opt to have loans or want new CCards, we can easily unfreeze whatever is needed.

It cost us a total of $30.40 plus a few hours of time for me to gather all the contact info and then get the links and get it all done and record our pins and put them away securely.

We were part of the OPM (fed govt) hack, Anthem insurance (BCBS) hack, perhaps a few others as well. We have no need for pre-auth offers to be sent to us all the time and no need for "instant credit." I know this won't necessarily stop all the junk mail, but wouldn't mind if it does stop some of it.

I will sleep better at night knowing I'm doing what I can for H and myself to minimize our likelihood of being hacked and ID theft.

I sent the info on security freezes to my sibs and close friends, urging them to consider it. I use two factor ID on most everything that allows it as well.

furwut
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by furwut » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:10 pm

Froze mine a couple of years ago. I’ve had no trouble temporarily lifting the freeze (thaw?) when applying for new credit. Just ask which agency they are using first. And, in my state, there is no fee to thaw.

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BTDT
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by BTDT » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:14 pm

NorCalDad wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:04 am
I'd been maximizing credit card point offers for travel, so I didn't freeze our reports, but I'm doing so now. This breach seems much bigger than any of the ones before.
You can still maximize CC points , it only cost you $10 to un-freeze the credit bureau the card is using. The only difference you have to look for the deals as the the junk mail tends to dry up
If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.

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catdude
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by catdude » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:34 pm

Yeah I froze mine yesterday. I'm 62 and retired and don't anticipate needing credit again. And if I do, I can always do an un-freeze. I had been meaning to freeze my credit for a long time, and this Equifax breach finally got me off the dime...
catdude | | “The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” (Mark Twain)

winski58
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by winski58 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:45 pm

Just froze Experian, TransUnion and Equifax this morning and there was no charge. Does this mean my credit has been breached?

rob65
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by rob65 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:04 pm

Just be sure to safely store your pin information where both spouses can find it. Mother-in-law handled all their finances and froze their credit, then developed dementia. Father-in-law had no idea where she had put the pin information. It can be difficult to recognize early stage dementia and all their records were a complete disaster before he realized what was happening.

Cunobelinus
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:10 pm

winski58 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:45 pm
Just froze Experian, TransUnion and Equifax this morning and there was no charge. Does this mean my credit has been breached?
No, it does not. Looking about on the internet will show you that your state very likely has legislated to prevent them from charging you money to prevent them from selling your information.
This is one of many sites: https://consumersunion.org/research/con ... rotection/

My state(s) make me pay money. But it's certainly worth it -- at the very least, I have received a lot less spam in the mail since I froze my credit several years ago.

3dream3
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by 3dream3 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:20 pm

We froze ours a few years ago after one of the other breaches. Didn't know about Innovis so will have to freeze with them too. Thanks!

danaht
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by danaht » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:53 pm

I change electricity providers every three months in TX. They always run a credit check when you do this (even if you were a prior customer). So, I probably will not be freezing my credit. However, I will monitor my credit activity every week (for the next 10 years)

JW-Retired
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by JW-Retired » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:24 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:01 pm
We froze our accounts with all 5 systems yesterday online plus one phone call with TransUnion because they had inaccurate info about where our S is living. We froze the big 3 plus ChexSystems and Innovis. The latter two we were not charged and they were recommended on a few places as well.
The Equifax hack being the final straw, DW & I would like to do credit freezes for all these as well. Could someone point me to the 5 websites where you start this process? I'm fearing I might stumble into a fake site. :oops:
thanks,
JW
Retired at Last

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:36 pm

You can just search online for the names of each of these companies and credit freeze or security freeze. The FTC.gov website also has info about placing security freezes, with links.

TropikThunder
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:14 pm

MnD wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:47 am
Nope - not going to pay money and spend time creating an ongoing cost and inconvenience for myself and family.
We make 5-figures annually getting using premium reward cards and save a lot of other money by having and using a high credit score (insurance rates etc.) Just checked equifax site and got the not affected screen for both of us but I figure the basic PII that's being discussed has been hacked numerous time in the past.
This seems amazingly short-sighted. You verified that you were not affected this time, so you don't need to do anything? You get >$10,000 annually from credit card rewards but don't want to spend $30 to protect your high credit score? How much will your score be affected when a hacker opens a $20,000 Citi card in your name and runs it up? Freezing your credit has no affect on your current usage, and it seems to me the better your score now, the more motivation you would have to protect it.

TropikThunder
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:20 pm

What about a fraud alert instead of a freeze? According to the FTC, fraud alerts are free, you only need to call one bureau and they have to tell the others, and it forces creditors to contact you buy phone to verify that it is you trying to open an account.
Three national credit reporting companies keep records of your credit history. If someone has misused your personal or financial information, call 1 of the companies and ask for an initial fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert is free. You must provide proof of your identity. The company you call must tell the other companies about your alert.

An initial fraud alert can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit, so it may try to contact you. The initial alert stays on your report for at least 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days. It allows you to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... raud-alert

On another page, they say you can create an initial 90-day fraud alert without having already been victimized.
Initial Fraud Alert. If you're concerned about identity theft, but haven't yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 90 days. You may want to place a fraud alert on your file if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen.
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... difference

Seems to me that if EQ says your info "may have been affected", then you certainly qualify as "concerned about identity theft, but haven't yet become a victim".

Longtermgrowth
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:25 pm

I've been thinking about it. Not sure if I'm one of the half of the U.S. population using credit affected by it or not, because I saw on Nightly Business Report that Equifax's website to check rather or not my information was hacked was also compromised.

Since I have the credit cards I want, and don't foresee the need to apply for any further credit, are there really any negatives to it? Insurance companies, perspective employers, etc, can still see ones credit score, correct?

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 pm

90 days of the fraud alert will fly by--that doesn't seem to be much real protection for a breach of this magnitude, IMHO; when it ends you will be unprotected unless you remember to extend it and jump through whatever hoops are required. I guess everyone has different risk tolerance and ability to sleep well at night. :sharebeer

@longtermgrowth, if you read the ftc.gov article above about your various credit protection options, it answers a lot of the common questions. To me, it's relatively inexpensive insurance for peace of mind.

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joe8d
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by joe8d » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:43 pm

Don't have a Credit Card.
All the Best, | Joe

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:50 pm

A credit freeze will prevent most folks from being able to apply for a credit card or open a bank account in your name. To me, that's valuable, whether or not you have a credit card. That's why we froze our accounts at the 5 credit bureaus.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:57 pm

I've been on the fence about freezing credit for about year and this pushed me over. Did all 5 today.

In a strange way, I wonder if not having a credit card actually makes you more vulnerable because your credit profile is the blank slate that an imposter can create a fake you? So I'd still go through with the freeze. I recently set up SS online accounts not because I have any use for them but because I don't want someone impersonating me or DW beating me to it.
Last edited by AntsOnTheMarch on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

TropikThunder
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:59 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 pm
90 days of the fraud alert will fly by--that doesn't seem to be much real protection for a breach of this magnitude, IMHO; when it ends you will be unprotected unless you remember to extend it and jump through whatever hoops are required. I guess everyone has different risk tolerance and ability to sleep well at night.
Fair point. I just did a fraud alert online at EQ and it does give me the option to extend it (once?) for another 90 days. I then pulled a new credit report about 2 minutes later and my alert was already there for EQ (no way did I think it would be that fast). [I'm monitoring my credit ahead of closing on a new house or I wouldn't be pulling it like that]

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:01 pm

For good measure, I just opted out of receiving pre-approved offers for both H and myself. I'm tired of them cluttering our mailboxes and tossing them out. Good riddance!

https://www.optoutprescreen.com

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Nicolas
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Nicolas » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:17 pm

HIinvestor wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:01 pm
For good measure, I just opted out of receiving pre-approved offers for both H and myself. I'm tired of them cluttering our mailboxes and tossing them out. Good riddance!

https://www.optoutprescreen.com
Thanks for the link. I just did the five-year opt out. You need to use U.S. Mail for the permanent opt-out and I didn't want to bother. Anyway I expect to be at a different address in five years' time.

Edit: Misplacement of apostrophe.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:02 am

I'm waiting to read all the pros and cons before actually do it. Luckily, I'm done with all the credit card rewards. I don't need to apply to anything for a while.

Gnirk
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by Gnirk » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:55 am

winski58 wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:45 pm
Just froze Experian, TransUnion and Equifax this morning and there was no charge. Does this mean my credit has been breached?
Not necessarily. In our state, there is no charge for freezing your credit if you are 65 or older.

novicemoney
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by novicemoney » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:16 am

Will a credit freeze affect attempts to open a brokerage account? What about renters? I am told that management companies screen prospective tenants by checking their credit ratings.

tpetsch
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by tpetsch » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:23 am

Completed freezes at all 5 agencies successfully, Experian, Equifax, Transunion, Innovis & Chexsystems

Plus "https://www.optoutprescreen.com" for good measure.

Although why is it every time I type vital information into websites like these I get this nagging feeling that I'm making myself even more vulnerable to identity theft thieves?

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:31 am

Reposting from above link the FTC.gov article about FAQs on security freezes.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... raud-alert

HIinvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:31 am

Reposting from above link the FTC.gov articles from @TropikThunder about FAQs on fraud alerts and security freezes.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... difference

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... raud-alert

advice789
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by advice789 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:59 am

Regarding the process to unfreeze the account, understand this is done by a pin. Suppose, a hacker does not have my credit freeze pin-- will the credit bureau validate identity via other personal information and unfreeze credit? See value to freeze credit. Am wondering whether a hacker can unfreeze via Equifax data of my identity?

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:39 am

joe8d wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:43 pm
Don't have a Credit Card.
That doesn't mean the credit reporting agencies don't have a file on you. If you don't freeze your credit reports a thief may take out a credit card in your name regardless of whether or not you have one.

MnD
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by MnD » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:03 am

TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:14 pm
MnD wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:47 am
Nope - not going to pay money and spend time creating an ongoing cost and inconvenience for myself and family.
We make 5-figures annually getting using premium reward cards and save a lot of other money by having and using a high credit score (insurance rates etc.) Just checked equifax site and got the not affected screen for both of us but I figure the basic PII that's being discussed has been hacked numerous time in the past.
This seems amazingly short-sighted. You verified that you were not affected this time, so you don't need to do anything? You get >$10,000 annually from credit card rewards but don't want to spend $30 to protect your high credit score? How much will your score be affected when a hacker opens a $20,000 Citi card in your name and runs it up? Freezing your credit has no affect on your current usage, and it seems to me the better your score now, the more motivation you would have to protect it.
Oops sorry - 4 figures not 5 figures. But even at that level it's been a huge money saver and maker. 100's of thousands of miles and many thousands of cash back over the years, 2.7% mortgage, good rates on insurance - never any problems with 0% credit deals that are paid off before the 0% window ends......

But to the point I figure my PII has been available for years if not decades. Remember when you used to write checks with name, address, phone number, bank account and routing number on them and then the retailer made you write your drivers license on it? Even now, PII is collected and stored everywhere. Is the identify theft market PII limited? Doubtful.

The credit card companies figured out a long time ago that instead of keeping your credit score secret, they could make billions selling all kinds of credit products (which costs them virtually nothing since it's just packaging existing electronic info they have) for people to monitor, check, try to improve scores and reports. But that's now a mature market. Now the credit freeze game is going to be the new thing everybody has to do with all the fun of paying 3 (or is it now 5?) different companies $10 each or whatever to freeze credit then unfreeze them when needed for activity involving banking accounts, credit card deals, renting a place, employment, insurance etc. What a huge nuisance.

If you drill down into the identity theft stats, you find the vast majority of cases involve misuse of an existing account - the classic being unauthorized charges on a credit card that's sitting in your wallet because some punk at a restaurant is skimming and selling card info or some hacker gets card numbers in bulk from a retailer that doesn't have their card numbers locked down. And then the info gets used for on-line purchases or another party clones and uses or sells fraudulent cards. Until true chip and PIN is mandatory this will be the big game for identity theft and no doubt the bad guys will exploit that system as well. And then you have the IRS and other taxing authority fraud because they are incredibly sloppy in verifying return information in the rush to get out refunds to broke people. Credit freeze isn't going to help you there either.

It's not a big surprise that the very same companies profiting from the credit freeze racket are now the ones gushing PII information for hundreds of millions. Pretty virtuous cycle for their bottom line in the credit freeze revenue department. Sorry - I'm not going to jump on the credit freeze bandwagon in its current state. Apparently this board is filled with people that don't have/use credit or have the one same credit card they applied for during the Nixon administration so "it's no big deal". But i think for many people, the credit freeze game is going to be an expensive and annoying habit. Due to pressure and legislation it might evolve that the whole process ends up free and one-click but of course the very nature of such an "EZ" credit freeze means it's yet another system linked to financial access that can be exploited. What happens when the bad guys hack the PIN files?

AntsOnTheMarch
Posts: 210
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:53 am

MnD wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:03 am
TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:14 pm
MnD wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:47 am
Nope - not going to pay money and spend time creating an ongoing cost and inconvenience for myself and family.
We make 5-figures annually getting using premium reward cards and save a lot of other money by having and using a high credit score (insurance rates etc.) Just checked equifax site and got the not affected screen for both of us but I figure the basic PII that's being discussed has been hacked numerous time in the past.
This seems amazingly short-sighted. You verified that you were not affected this time, so you don't need to do anything? You get >$10,000 annually from credit card rewards but don't want to spend $30 to protect your high credit score? How much will your score be affected when a hacker opens a $20,000 Citi card in your name and runs it up? Freezing your credit has no affect on your current usage, and it seems to me the better your score now, the more motivation you would have to protect it.
Oops sorry - 4 figures not 5 figures. But even at that level it's been a huge money saver and maker. 100's of thousands of miles and many thousands of cash back over the years, 2.7% mortgage, good rates on insurance - never any problems with 0% credit deals that are paid off before the 0% window ends......

But to the point I figure my PII has been available for years if not decades. Remember when you used to write checks with name, address, phone number, bank account and routing number on them and then the retailer made you write your drivers license on it? Even now, PII is collected and stored everywhere. Is the identify theft market PII limited? Doubtful.

The credit card companies figured out a long time ago that instead of keeping your credit score secret, they could make billions selling all kinds of credit products (which costs them virtually nothing since it's just packaging existing electronic info they have) for people to monitor, check, try to improve scores and reports. But that's now a mature market. Now the credit freeze game is going to be the new thing everybody has to do with all the fun of paying 3 (or is it now 5?) different companies $10 each or whatever to freeze credit then unfreeze them when needed for activity involving banking accounts, credit card deals, renting a place, employment, insurance etc. What a huge nuisance.

If you drill down into the identity theft stats, you find the vast majority of cases involve misuse of an existing account - the classic being unauthorized charges on a credit card that's sitting in your wallet because some punk at a restaurant is skimming and selling card info or some hacker gets card numbers in bulk from a retailer that doesn't have their card numbers locked down. And then the info gets used for on-line purchases or another party clones and uses or sells fraudulent cards. Until true chip and PIN is mandatory this will be the big game for identity theft and no doubt the bad guys will exploit that system as well. And then you have the IRS and other taxing authority fraud because they are incredibly sloppy in verifying return information in the rush to get out refunds to broke people. Credit freeze isn't going to help you there either.

It's not a big surprise that the very same companies profiting from the credit freeze racket are now the ones gushing PII information for hundreds of millions. Pretty virtuous cycle for their bottom line in the credit freeze revenue department. Sorry - I'm not going to jump on the credit freeze bandwagon in its current state. Apparently this board is filled with people that don't have/use credit or have the one same credit card they applied for during the Nixon administration so "it's no big deal". But i think for many people, the credit freeze game is going to be an expensive and annoying habit. Due to pressure and legislation it might evolve that the whole process ends up free and one-click but of course the very nature of such an "EZ" credit freeze means it's yet another system linked to financial access that can be exploited. What happens when the bad guys hack the PIN files?
You make some good points but security is not an end point. It is a moving target involving me, the bad guys, and companies / politicians. A credit freeze puts me just a little further out of reach of the bad guys...for now. I'm not as worried about bogus charges on my card as I am with someone establishing a whole "other me" somewhere and then having to prove to a bank or the authorities that it really wasn't me. I will gladly pay some money for even a slim chance to help avoid it (even if I did feel hijacked for ransom).

FYI, doing all 5 agencies for me and DW cost $40. Equifax, Innovis and Chekx did not charge me.

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nisiprius
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:24 am

I thought I had frozen "all" of my credit reports, several years ago. That is to say, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Little did I know that those are not all of them. You can still find any number of online pages suggesting that those three are all there are. I never heard of Innovis until yesterday. OK, I've frozen my score there, too.

I don't even know what ChexSystems is, but as I right this, their website appears to be frozen, and I can't even find out what they are, let alone put in a credit freeze with them.

(Added: according to Wikipedia, "Eighty percent of commercial banks and credit unions in the United States use ChexSystems to screen applicants for checking and savings accounts." Does that mean that if I freeze ChexSystems I won't be able to open a new checking account?)

I wonder how many other credit bureaus there are besides Equifax, Experian, Transunion, Innovis, and TransUnion?

I am still baffled as to exactly how freezing my credit records is supposed to help me. Freezing my credit records doesn't stop me or anybody else from charging things on my credit cards, let alone stop the hackers from using the information they have about me to impersonate me.

I also gave in and added two-factor authentication, which Vanguard calls a "security code" to my Vanguard account. And then, of course, I read this. It appears as if "two-factor authentication" is just another bit of ineffective security theatre.

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PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: Anyone else freeze their credit score?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:32 am

Instituting all five freezes cost my the princely sum of $5. I haven’t applied for credit for years, and don’t anticipate having to do so — but if I do need to apply, thawing an agency isn’t arduous. So, for me the benefits of freezing clearly outweigh the drawbacks.

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