Freeze Your Credit
What Is a Security Freeze?
A “security freeze” is a consumer right provided by North Carolina law, enacted as part of the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005
pushed by Attorney General Roy Cooper. Placing a security freeze on your credit reports blocks access to your credit unless you have given your permission. This can prevent an identity thief from opening a new account or getting credit in your name.
North Carolina consumers can now get a free security freeze online, thanks to a recent change in the law
. Identity theft victims who have filed a police report, their spouses, and consumers over the age of 62 can also get free security freezes by mail or phone.
A security freeze, also known as a credit or a file freeze, can be lifted (or "thawed") temporarily when you are applying for credit, or removed permanently.
Protect Your Child's Credit, Too
If you're a parent or guardian, check to see if your child has a credit report. Contact the credit bureaus with proof of the child's identity and your relationship to the child. If a credit report exists in your child’s name, place a security freeze on it.
How a Security Freeze Works
- Once you've placed a security freeze on your credit, a creditor who asks to see your file will see a message that your file is frozen. The creditor will not see your credit score, and may treat your application as incomplete but not rejected.
- Government agencies collecting child support payments or taxes and your existing creditors or collection agencies acting on their behalf can continue to access your credit despite the freeze.
- Other creditors may also use your information to offer you pre-approved credit. You can stop most credit offers by calling (888) 5-OPT-OUT or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.