GREENSBORO, N.C. — You know when you're having a conversation with someone and you hear them say something and you think to yourself, ‘You have got to be kidding?’.
That’s the kind of moment it is when the NC Attorney General says he was a victim of ID theft.
“Someone filed tax returns in my name and just today I learned someone filed unemployment insurance in my name. This happens to all of us or too many of us,” said Josh Stein, NC AG.
Seriously. The North Carolina Attorney General had his ID stolen for a tax return and unemployment benefits? Don't the scammers know who he is? Really, he's just a number to them. They don't know our lives and what we deal with or who we work for. The scammers just know our number can be used to get money.
The NC AG has several pages dedicated to Identity Theft on the DOJ website. You’ll find everything from what to do to protect your identity to how you report ID theft and what steps you need to take. The steps all depend on if your ID has been stolen and used for taxes, unemployment, a loan, buying items.
One of the easiest ways to protect your identity is by freezing your credit.
When you freeze your credit you can still use your credit cards but no one can open a credit card or take out a loan in your name. That is your protection and a credit freeze is free.
You should freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus. Use the links or do it by mail:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348//1-800-685-1111
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013//1-888-397-3742
TU Protected Consumer Freeze
P.O. Box 380 Woodlyn, PA 19094//1-800-916-8800
And yes, you need to do it with all three. A freeze on one doesn’t mean an ID thief can’t try it on the other two.