It's Your Money

Your Money: Identity Theft

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Concerned about identity theft? You should be. It's a crime that's getting worse, according to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

That’s why Cooper wants all North Carolinians to know they have a new way to protect themselves: a free security freeze.

It’s a new state law passed just this month, that Cooper says a lot of people still don’t know about.

“A security freeze is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft,” Cooper said.

It’s like a padlock on your personal information, and he’s urging people to take advantage of it.

“You can do it free online,” Cooper explained. “And it will prevent a criminal from going out and getting a credit card or loan in your name. And when you yourself want to take out a loan or get a credit card, you can temporarily lift the freeze then put it back on again.”

Before the law, only victims of identity theft could get a security freeze, which Cooper says is like giving a bulletproof vest to someone after they’ve been shot.

All you do is go to www.ncdoj.gov and alert all three major credit reporting companies: Transunion, Experian, and Equifax

If you do not have access to a computer you can also get a freeze by phone or mail, but it will cost you three dollars.

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