PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Equifax data breach scandal has sent millions of consumers scrambling for information about ways they can protect themselves.
Center City consumer protection attorney Jim Francis recommends implementing a credit freeze.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Urges Voters To Choose 'No' On Ballot Questions That Would Limit Executive Order Powers
“A credit freeze allows a consumer to contact the credit reporting agency, in this case Equifax, Trans-Union or Experian, and require that they freeze selling any credit information to lenders or credit cards or any applicant.”READ MORE: Fully Vaccinated People No Longer Need To Wear Masks In Most Circumstances, CDC Says
A freeze prevents identity thieves from being able to open up credit in the consumer’s name. If you need to open new lines of credit you’ll have to lift the freeze first.MORE NEWS: $20,000 Reward Offered After Fire At Historic St. Leo's Church In Tacony Ruled Arson
Francis also advises that you regularly check your credit report — at least every six months. Look at the inquiry section of the report. If you don’t recognize the names of companies snooping around, find out what’s happening.