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50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age: New Financial Threats You Need to Know and How to Avoid Them, Second Edition by Steve Weisman

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8. Credit Reports

Santa Claus might know if you have been bad or good, at least in the 1934 song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” by J. Fred Coots and Henry Gillespie, but I’ll bet the jolly old elf does not have as much information about you as the three major credit-reporting agencies have in their files. Although your position on the naughty or nice scale might affect what you receive from Santa, your credit report and credit score can affect you much more significantly—from getting a job to getting a mortgage to whether an insurance company will do business with you. Often, the first indication you have that you have been victimized by identity theft is on your credit report.

When an identity thief gets access to your credit report by posing ...

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