With identity theft still a pervasive problem, people are constantlyon the hunt for new and better ways of protecting their information. Now Experian has launched a system that notifies people within seconds when their personal information is accessed, allowing them to quickly address and resolve possible fraud issues.
Precise ID Personal Protection Alerts lets people know when their information has been presented for authentication or when their credit report is being pulled from Experian. Alerts are sent via text message, mobile app, or email telling consumers what information has been accessed along with the details of the request.
Alert messages also contain information about who to contact in case the activity is not recognized and may be the result of identity theft.When customers notify Experian of a possible breach, access to information and accounts can be frozen in order to minimize the damage.
Anytime a consumer’s credit profile is accessed or their personal information is used in a mobile or other non face-to-face transaction that raises suspicion, an alert will be issued by Experian. If the consumer recognizes the inquiry as legitimate, they do not need to do anything.
Identity fraud rampant
Identity theft was the number one reported consumer complaint last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The popularity of online and mobile transactions and the changing face of payments have created even more opportunities for identity thieves.
To lessen the risk of identity theft, it’s important to know the signs that your information might have been compromised. Monitor accounts closely to watch for unfamiliar withdrawals or other activity you don’t recognize. If you stop getting bills or other mail you used to get, or start getting unfamiliar bills or mail, that is also a red flag.
Also be wary of calls from debt collectors trying to collect on bills that aren’t yours, notices from the IRS of multiple filings, or having checks returned. All these are signs that someone else may be masquerading as you.
Always protect your information, such as PINs and Social Security numbers. Shred old bills and encrypt data on your smartphone and computer to minimize the risk of data theft.