Watch Your Wallet (and your FICO score)
Oh, if all we had to worry about were light-fingered petty thieves….
A recent Identity Theft seminar given by Ryan Zink of Home123 reminded me of the breadth and ease of identity fraud and the impact it has on your credit, especially when it comes to big-ticket items like getting a home loan.
There are many painful stories of individuals whose credit scores and reputations have been harmed, and as a lending officer, Ryan shared about a couple clients whose home-buying plans were nearly crushed due to identity theft (including one about a mother that stole her own kids’ identity!).
For some reason, Oregon ranks as the 13th highest in the nation for identity fraud. Ryan suggests that we check our credit score (FICO) every 6 months, among other security measures.
Ryan also left behind a reference card on what to do if you discover you’ve become a victim:
- Place a Fraud Alert on your credit rating by calling Equifax (800-525-6285), Transunion (800-680-7289), and Experian (800-397-3742).
- File a report with local law enforcement to document that an actual crime has occurred.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-IDTHEFT)
- Notify your current credit card companies.
- Visit www.ftc.gov for the complete ID Theft Information booklet.
- Keep records of all conversations and actions.
Ryan is available to provide this seminar to companies and civic organizations. You can reach him at (503) 701-8213.
[tags] identity, theft, fraud, mortgages, scam, FICO, credit [/tags]