Official: Start 2013 smart by checking your credit report
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:00 pm
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Consumer Affairs Division is urging consumers to start the year off with a free review of their credit report. Gaps in your computer’s security, a data breach at a company you patronize, even a failure to properly dispose of private information — all can lead to cases of stolen identities.
“Consumers can fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing their credit report,” Consumer Affairs Director Gary Cordell says.
“You may request your free credit report online, by phone or through the mail. New accounts opened with your identity will appear on your report, revealing any potential cases of identity fraud to you.”
Consumers who fail to stay current with their credit profiles risk being unaware of fraudulent credit activity being conducted literally in their names.
“If you don’t check your credit report,” Cordell says, “it could be months before a creditor, fed up with nonpayment, turns the account over to a collector who tracks you down and demands payment for a loan or charges you’ve never even heard of.”
Go to the Consumer Affairs website, http://consumer.tn.gov, and click on “Get a Free credit report.” Other means for getting credit reports at no charge:
• Online: AnnualCredit Report.com
• Phone: 1-877-322-8228
• By mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105283, Atlanta, GA 30348-5283
Consumer Affairs (www.tn.gov/consumer) is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance (www.tn.gov/commerce), which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. Published in The Messenger 1.30.13