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Ask Dave

Freezing Your Credit Report

Eric wants to know if Dave recommends a credit freeze in order to protect against identity theft.

QUESTION: Eric on Twitter wants to know if Dave recommends a credit freeze in order to protect against identity theft.

ANSWER: I absolutely recommend that. Freeze your credit report; it only partially protects against identity theft. I recommend Zander Insurance’s identity theft protection program.

Here’s why: Identity theft is where someone, for example, signs up for a credit card in your name. If Joe Crook signs an application with your name and his address, and the credit card company never checks your credit and issues the card—and they blind-issue these cards about seven out of 10 times—then the card will be issued to the thief, and having your credit frozen does no good whatsoever to block that.

If they check your credit and it’s frozen, the other three times out of 10 they won’t issue the card or whatever the guy is applying for. But if they don’t check, they issue him the credit anyway. Yes, you can freeze your credit bureau report, and it’s a good idea to do that—especially if you’re not borrowing money anymore.

In addition to that, I have identity theft protection on me, my kids and all my team members. If Joe Crook gets that issued in your name and mailed to his address, and he starts using that fake credit card, then the credit card company will demand that you pay it. You’ll say that it wasn’t you, but they will insist it is.

Then you’ll have to go fill out affidavits and police reports. You don’t have to pay money when someone steals your identity—you don’t have to pay for the debt they run up. But you will have to spend hundreds of hours dealing with morons at credit card companies trying to get them to straighten this account out because Joe Crook stole your identity.

The Zander identity theft protection program assigns a case worker to your file, and the case worker does all the work. They deal with the credit card idiots, they get everything together and push all the buttons to get your credit cleaned back up.

You need both of these. You need someone to take care of all the problems where there is a problem—a case worker with Zander. You also need to freeze your credit report in case they do check your credit. I have both on me.