Consumers who are concerned about personal information becoming compromised might consider putting a credit freeze on their accounts.
You can ward off thieves by freezing your credit, which would not allow anyone, including yourself, to access new credit in your name without paying to lift the freeze. A credit freeze does not affect your current credit or your ability to use your credit cards.
According to Ohio state law, credit freezes cost $5 per person to place and $5 to lift temporarily or permanently. Victims of ID theft can get the freeze for free, with a police report. While a freeze wards off ID thieves, it also means you will not be able to access your credit unless you temporarily or permanently lift the freeze for $5.
It is recommended to place a freeze at each of the bureaus for yourself and your spouse. Here is contact information:
• Equifax: 800-685-1111 (Option 3), Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348 or www.equifax.com
• Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742), Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen TX 75013 or www.experian.com
• TransUnion: 888-909-8872, TransUnion, Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834 or www.transunion.com