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Credit Fraud Defense for Home Buyers

Credit Fraud Defense for Home Buyers. 0

Data breaches, identity theft and phishing scams affect all consumers, but home buyers are among the most vulnerable. You might spend years saving for a down payment and improving your credit, only to become an attractive target for data thieves. Here are ways to defend yourself!

Never send banking data or credit card information through email. No email is completely private! A data thief can help themselves to any info you send.

Always be sure you are using a secured, private connection for online shopping and banking. Do not use public connections at hotels, stores, coffee shops or libraries to make an online purchase or to check account balances. When in doubt, check your smartphone’s settings to verify your data connection.

When shopping online, make sure the website’s URL starts with the prefix of https://. This is a web protocol that secures communications. Look for the “lock” icon to verify that the site is secure. You should be able to click on the lock icon to review the website’s security certificate.

Periodically check your credit history at annualcreditreport.com. If you see new accounts or credit activity you did not authorize, go to IdentityTheft.gov for instructions! You should also file a fraud alert with your creditors.

If someone has attempted to use your identity or credit lines, you can place a credit freeze on your file with the credit bureaus. You will eventually need to lift the freeze in order to apply for a mortgage or any new credit. The slight hassle is worth the protection!

When buying a home, beware of new closing instructions that suddenly come through email! Phishing scams are sophisticated, with fraudulent email messages imitating parties in the transaction. If you receive a message asking you to wire your down payment, stop! Call your Exclusive Buyer Agent or closing attorney immediately to verify the true instructions.

Your Exclusive Buyer Agent helps protect you throughout the home buying process! Find an EBA in your area today!