As you’re reading this, a cyberthief could be buying a new vehicle with your credit. Hacker’s with access to financial accounts can do significant damage to your credit, quickly and with anonymity. Ignoring your credit report could be costly. To find out if this is happening to you—check your credit report. Checking your report can show any recent purchase activity made with your credit. If you do notice unauthorized activity, acting quickly can make it easier to recover if you ever are a victim.
It’s no secret that hackers are always prepared with email phishing campaigns, malware, ransomware, and various financial and identity fraud attacks. Since the average person is often the prime target of attackers, checking your credit report can show details about your finances you had no idea were happening. A criminal with access to your credit report can open accounts in your name, get loans, credit cards, and make purchases using your stolen identity and passwords. A victim can literally be locked out of their accounts—and no one wants that. Remember, victims are responsible for any and all financial damage done to their accounts. And, it’s not so easy to repair it.
The now infamous 2017 Equifax data breach,—one of the largest identity theft crimes of the decade, is a reminder of just how vulnerable your credit and other data can be. Equifax is one of the top three credit bureaus; the other two being TransUnion and Experian. In the attack, the PII (personally identifiable information) of 148 million Americans was stolen, along with millions more in England and Canada. The hack stole the credit card details, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and more. The enormity of the attack led to the company agreeing to compensate those affected. But for most victims, it was too little too late. For them, the excruciating process of restoring their identity and credit began.
How To Obtain Your Credit Report
You can get your credit report from several sources including the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). You can also take advantage of Mid Oregon’s free, secure option Credit Savvy located in Digital Banking. When you enroll you will receive access to your credit score, as well as key information from your credit report. You can also sign up for emails to alert you to changes to your credit report.
Mid Oregon has a great resource in helping you protect yourself online. Visit our Stickley on Security resource in our Security and Fraud Center. There, you can read timely articles on a variety of digital security topics, including some videos. Get the most up-to-date information to keep your financial accounts cyber smart.
In the age of increased identity fraud, there’s never been a more crucial time to pay attention to your credit report.
Content based on an article by Stickley on Security