Claim your free credit report

Posted on 04/10/24

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In 2023, fraud-related losses totaled over $10 billion in the United States. Identity theft-related fraud has sat at or near the top of the list of consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the past few years.

Checking your free annual credit report is one way to recognize the signs that your identity may be compromised.

· The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These reports can be accessed online on a weekly basis.

· Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. This is the only source for free credit reports guaranteed by law.

· When you access the site, ensure you have a secure internet connection, do not use public Wi-Fi. On the site, click request your credit reports. Then, fill out a form to request one, two or all three credit reports.

· You will be required to provide personal information and answer required security questions (this is okay!).

· Once you’ve received the first report, be sure to print it or save it as a PDF so you can access it again.

· To view your other reports, you will have to answer additional security questions.

· Be alert to any discrepancies in your report: an account you don’t recognize, negative items that should be disputed, anything that would suggest your good name or identity are in jeopardy.

· If you do find discrepancies, contact the credit reporting bureaus to investigate further. Visit www.identitytheft.gov to file a report with the FTC and take steps to freeze your credit or place a fraud alert.

This story is provided by AARP Colorado. Visit the AARP Colorado page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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