Help for victims of fraud, ID theft
Have you or someone who know recently been a victim of identity theft, data breach or Western Union money scam? The Shakopee Police Department is sharing these resources to assist:
Free credit monitoring following Equifax data breach
Because of the Equifax credit bureau’s data breach of more than 145 million people’s personal information, Equifax is offering a free credit or “security” freeze on your credit history through June 30, 2018. A credit freeze limits access to your credit file so no one, including you, can open a new credit account (e.g., loan or credit card) without first calling and providing a PIN to lift the freeze. More information on the Equifax website.
TransUnion and Experian also offer a credit freeze for a cost of $5-$10 each time you freeze or unfreeze your account. A credit freeze is permanent until you remove or lift it. Generally, a credit freeze is best for children, older adults, people under guardianship and others who do not plan on obtaining new credit accounts frequently. You must place a freeze with EACH of the credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax).
With a “credit lock” you can also freeze and unfreeze your credit history using a computer or app but not a phone call. The fees are around $20 per month. Equifax is offering its credit lock service, called “Lock and Alert” for free. The lock lasts for the term of the lock agreement with each credit reporting bureau. Carefully research which type of credit freeze provides the most security for you and your family.
Scams involving sending money thru Western Union
If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 29, 2017, you can apply to get your money back as part of a $586 million settlement with Western Union and the Federal Trade Commission. To get more information and start filing your claim go to FTC.gov/WU, contact the administrator at 1-844-319-2124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: You CANNOT apply for a refund via email. You must submit a claim online by May 31, 2018.
Free assistance from an ID theft specialist
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is a non-profit addressing identity theft issues. A victim assistance call center is available to seek free help at 1-888-400-5530. You can also go online at www.idtheftcenter.org or use ITRC’s ID Theft Help app available free of charge, available from the Apple Store and Google Play.