And Now For Something Completely Different (than scripts & films)

My taxes were filed ahead of me by criminals two years in a row. The IRS only gave me a PIN number after the second time (the feds paid out twice before they took it seriously enough to send me a PIN number). But, someone can, with info easily gotten on the internet, also apply for loans using your identity, dragging you down for months (or even years) of hassle. If you freeze your credit (and temporarily un-freeze it only when applying for credit) it will prevent them from doing this. Here's all you need to do, and most of it only takes 30 minutes or less.

Take the time to protect yourself and freeze your credit by setting up accounts (and freezing your credit) with the first 3 below and filing an online freeze with the last 2 below. It's easy. Save it (including the personal info you insert below) in a document that is at home and online. Password-protect the document (if you want) with an 8-character (or greater, alpha/numeric/special character) primary password that you will always remember as follows:

  1. Open your Microsoft Word document. Double-click the Word document that you want to protect with a password. ...
  2. Click File.
  3. Click the Info tab...
  4. Click Protect Document...
  5. Click Encrypt with Password...
  6. Enter your primary password...
  7. Click OK...
  8. Re-enter the primary password, then click OK.
Copy/Paste the 5 places below with your specifics in a document saved in multiple locations, including an online location (where you can store important documents offsite) like a Google Drive, DropBox, or online account:

Equifax Freeze Online
Phone: 1-800-349-9960 (automated), 1-888-298-0045 (live operator)
Mail: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia 30348




Experian Freeze Online
Phone: 1-888-397-3742
Mail: Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013



TransUnion Freeze Online
Phone: 1-888-909-8872
Mail: TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

ID –



Innovis Freeze Online
Phone: 1-800-540-2505
Mail: Attention: Consumer Assistance, P.O. Box 1358, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1358

No Online Account; No PW; No PIN, just freeze/unfreeze it online.

National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange Freeze Online
Phone: 1-866-349-5355
Mail: NCTUE Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105561, Atlanta, GA 30348

No Online Account; No PW; No PIN, just freeze/unfreeze it online.

You should also consider using a free password manager and putting all your passwords in there, un-lockable using a single primary password.

Pass this whole message on to friends and family members.