Steps you should take if your social security number’s stolen

Review your credit report once a year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hackers now have 80 million people’s personal information, including social security numbers and medical ID.

Anthem is investigating the data breach that exposed its own employees’ and customers’ information. If thieves steal you social security number, they can open credit cards and take out loans using your information. However, they won’t make any required payments, and that can have a drastic impact on your credit score.

To prevent that, you can place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. An alert lasts 90 days and can be renewed. It lets lenders know that they should be extra cautious and verify your identify before extending credit.

A freeze is a more dramatic action. It prevents lenders from accessing your credit report altogether, and it’s there until you remove it. It’s also a good idea to review your credit report once a year.

Springfield Consumer Advocate Milagros Johnson told 22News, “Regardless of whether or not they have bad credit, good credit, no debt, a lot of debt, it’s not about how much debt you have, but what is on your credit report. Is the information accurate.”

Look for any accounts that do not belong to you and places you did not live. The three credit reporting agencies are required by law to provide one free report a year. Click Here to learn more.

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