By: Armco Credit Union & the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Sept. 1, 2021
Free Credit Reports Available Weekly
According to The Federal Trade Commission, in 2020 consumers saw over $3.3 billion in losses stemming from fraud in the United States.
Butler County is not immune to this national surge in identity theft and fraud. The credit union has foiled many fraudulent claims such as wire fraud, romance fraud, unemployment fraud and more. We have been reporting on these scams in eNEWS and on our social media platforms to keep you informed.
We urge you to check your credit report more often due to a rise of fraud and scams – even if you have good credit. You can check your TransUnion, Equifax and Experian free credit reports on a weekly basis. Prior to the pandemic, each report could only be accessed for free once per year. However, as fraud rose during the pandemic, the credit bureaus began allowing free access to your credit report once a week.
Reviewing your accounts regularly helps you catch early signs of identity theft. Credit reports may affect your mortgage rate, credit card approvals, apartment requests, or even your job application.
To access your free credit report from one of the credit bureaus mentioned above, type https://www.AnnualCreditReport.com into your browser and follow the prompted information.
We did not include a link here because you should not access this site through links from email or unfamiliar websites. There have been many phishing sites that look similar to this site. Also, don’t be fooled by other websites that promise credit reports for free. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only official site explicitly directed by Federal law to provide them.
What to look for when you acquire your credit report.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you should look for these common errors on your credit report.
- Errors made to your identity information (wrong name, phone number, address)
- Accounts belonging to another person with the same or a similar name as yours (this mixing of two consumers’ information in a single file is called a mixed file)
- Incorrect accounts resulting from identity theft
Incorrect reporting of account status
- Closed accounts reported as open
- You are reported as the owner of the account, when you are actually just an authorized user
- Accounts that are incorrectly reported as late or delinquent
- Incorrect date of last payment, date opened, or date of first delinquency
- Same debt listed more than once (possibly with different names)
Data management errors
- Reinsertion of incorrect information after it was corrected
- Accounts that appear multiple times with different creditors listed (especially in the case of delinquent accounts or accounts in collections)
- Accounts with an incorrect current balance
- Accounts with an incorrect credit limit
If you find errors, you should contact the credit reporting company who sent you the report, and the creditor or company that provided the information (called the “furnisher” of the information). Your credit report includes directions about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.
“New Data Shows FTC Received 2.2 Million Fraud Reports from Consumers in 2020.”, Federal Trade Commission, 02 Feb. 2021, https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2021/02/new-data-shows-ftc-received-2-2-million-fraud-reports-consumers. Accessed 31 Aug. 2021. Press Release.
“What are common credit report errors that I should look for on my credit report?” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 08 June 2017, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-are-common-credit-report-errors-that-i-should-look-for-on-my-credit-report-en-313/. Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.