Credit Freeze 2.0: Going Beyond the Basics

| October 15, 2018
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As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, scammers are constantly looking for new ways to compromise individuals’ information. This leaves many people wondering how they can protect both themselves and their information. While freezing your credit at the three major bureaus is a good place to start, we would like to discuss additional steps that can be taken in order to maximize your protection.

By placing a freeze on your credit with Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, you are preventing new credit from being opened in your name. However, this does not prevent scammers from opening bank, utility, and certain other accounts on your behalf. Accounts like these do not require a credit check from one of the three major bureaus before being opened. Instead, they perform checks from lesser known bureaus such as Innovis, ChexSystems, and the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE).

In 2017, over 44% of people who fell victim to identity theft reported that they had a fake mobile or bank service set up in their name (1). To help prevent this from happening to you, a freeze can be placed on security reports from Innovis, ChexSystems, and NCTUE.

 

What do the three bureaus do?

Innovis: Innovis is essentially the fourth major credit bureau. Just like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, Innovis collects a variety of credit information which can then be accessed by lenders when taking out additional credit.* Unlike the three major bureaus, Innovis does not generate credit scores. *

ChexSystems: ChexSystems monitors an individual’s banking history. Current and closed accounts are all monitored by ChexSystems. This information is then used by financial institutions when an individual attempts to open a new account.

NCTUE: NCTUE specifically monitors an individual’s telecommunication, pay-TV, and utility history. This information is then used to help future providers assess the individual’s risk when opening a new account.*

 

What does placing a security freeze on these accounts do?

Innovis: Placing a security freeze on your Innovis report prevents lenders from gaining access to your Innovis credit report. Since lenders will not be able to access your report, no further credit will be able to be opened without your knowledge. This freeze can be lifted at any time in order to apply for new credit.

ChexSystems: Placing a freeze on your ChexSystems report will prevent banks and other financial institutions from accessing your report. This will prevent any checking or savings accounts from being opened without your authorization or knowledge. Keep in mind, the freeze can be lifted at any time in order to open a new account.

NCTUE: Placing a freeze on your NCTUE report prevents telecommunication, pay-TV, and utility accounts from being opened using your information. Just like Innovis and ChexSystems, the freeze may be lifted at any time should you need to obtain new service.

 

How can I freeze these security reports?

Placing a freeze on all three reports can be done online, in a short amount of time. In order to place a freeze, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and driver's license number. If you would like to place a freeze on your reports, the following links will take you directly to each website.

Innovis

ChexSystems

NCTUE

Freezing these reports is one of many ways in which you can help protect yourself from identity theft. If you would like to learn more valuable ways to protect yourself, click HERE to visit our Security Corner.

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  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/09/07/equifax-data-breach-how-protect-yourself-beyond-credit-freeze/1203664002
  2. https://www.creditinfocenter.com/wordpress/2017/05/16/innovis-vs-cbcinnovis-need-know-fourth-credit-bureau/
  3. https://www.innovis.com/personal/lc_creditReport
  4. https://www.nctue.com/faqs
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