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How do you put a freeze on? The credit bureaus list the requirements on their websites, but you may have trouble finding them. Here are the specifics:

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
  • Send request by certified mail.
  • Include full name, current and previous addresses for past two years, proof of current address (such as a utility bill), Social Security number, and date of birth.
Experian
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
  • Send request by certified or overnight mail.
  • Include full name with middle initial and Jr./Sr., etc.
  • Include current address and previous addresses for past two years, Social Security number, birth date, and two proofs of residence (government-issued ID such as a driver's license and a recent utility bill, insurance statement, or bank statement).
TransUnion
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
  • Send request by certified or overnight mail.
  • Include full name with middle initial and Jr./Sr., etc.
  • Include current address and previous addresses for past two years, Social Security number, and birth date.
For non-victims, there is typically a fee of $5 to $20 to enact a freeze, as well as a fee to temporarily lift or permanently remove it. (In some states, these fees are waived for senior citizens.) Costs and rules vary from state to state. The best way to find the information for your state is to go to the Consumers Union website: consumersunion.org/campaigns/learn_more/003484indiv.html. Scroll down to find your state, then click on the link with more information on how to put on a freeze.

If you live in a state that doesn't allow consumers to freeze their reports, you should contact your state and federal representatives to find out why your state doesn't think it's important to allow residents to take steps to protect their financial identities.

How to Protect Your Good Name
In 2006, identity theft accounted for 36 percent of more than 600,000 fraud complaints lodged with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To help decrease your odds of becoming a victim, visit the FTC website for more information at www.ftc.gov.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

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