Identity theft is a growing concern for millions of consumers given the way we conduct some if not all of our financial transactions – online, on the phone, or by mail. In a study conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, it was found that more than 13.1 million U.S. consumers experienced some degree of identity theft in 2015 alone, equalling $15 billion in fraudulent transactions. In some cases, credit accounts and home loans were opened in someone’s name without their knowledge or consent, while in others, bank account information was taken and used for someone else’s benefit. Identity theft can have a lasting impact on your credit and ultimately lead to a loss of time, energy, and money if it is not caught and subsequently corrected in a short period of time.
To help consumers stave off cyber criminals and their uncanny ability to steal personal and financial information, TransUnion developed a new, no-cost identity theft protection program known as TrueIdentity. The product can be used either online or as a mobile app and does not require any credit card information to get started. Users simply input their identifying information online, including name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number to establish a new account. As a security feature, TrueIdentity verifies the user’s identity through a series of questions prior to activating an account. Once an account is established, three main features are made immediately available to help thwart off identity theft.
Through TrueIdentity by TransUnion, users have the ability to lock their credit report whether they are online or on the go. With a simple swipe or click, you can make your credit report from TransUnion off limits and turn it back on again just as easily. If you are concerned that someone may be attempting to use your personal information to establish a new credit account or take out a new loan or mortgage, locking your credit report forces a new creditor to contact you directly prior to approving any account application. When you know you don’t have a need for new credit, the one-touch lock with TrueIdentity helps safeguard your TransUnion credit report data.
In addition to credit locks, TrueIdentity also offers instant alerts. When a new credit application is completed in the user’s name, an alert it sent within moments via a text message, an e-mail, or a phone call. If you did not initiate a new credit account, you can then utilize the app or desktop version of TrueIdentity to lock your credit after contacting the creditor who authorized the new account to have them stop the transaction from moving any further in the process.
One of the most powerful benefits of TrueIdentity by TransUnion is access to your TransUnion credit reports. Oftentimes, a strange name, address, or credit inquiry found on your credit report is the only sign of potential identity theft. Checking your credit report on a regular basis gives you the opportunity to get ahead of any fraudulent activity before it becomes a costly problem. TrueIdentity provides users with unlimited access to their TransUnion credit report to help keep them informed about changes and potential problems. However, if you also need to know your TransUnion credit score you can upgrade to TrueIdentity Premium for $9.95/mo, which includes a one-time 3 credit bureau report and scores, plus ongoing access to your TransUnion credit report and score with email alerts whenever there are changes to your TransUnion, Experian and Equifax credit reports.
TrueIdenity by TransUnion is a smart tool to use in protecting yourself from identity theft, whether you’re using the program online or while you’re on the go. Access is free, always, and it takes just a few moments to setup. Although it only provides access to TransUnion credit report activity for free, not other credit reporting agency data, TrueIdentity can be your first step toward maintaining a watchful eye on your credit and steering clear of costly identity theft that could be a challenge to manage and correct down the road.
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