Everyone offered the same one-size-fits-all advice: Freeze your credit with the three credit agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
I was hesitant. “Freeze your credit report” struck me as one of those directives, like “take the hajj to Mecca” far easier to suggest than to do.
Reader, I went on the Equifax website. Maybe I was still in shock, but filling out the form didn’t work. I had to join first. So I joined, then gave up, applying my general unplug/reboot/wait philosophy so effective when coping with technology.
A few days later I tried again. Clicked on Equifax, then on the snowflake. (Get it? A freeze.) Soon, was busily sharing the information whose dissemination got me in trouble in the first place.
Forms to fill out, all the while batting away offers to put myself on the hook for additional services I neither want nor need. Freezing credit is like renting a car. You just want the car, but they want to sell you redundant insurance and a complicated gasoline program. Even if you’re vigilant, you might end up with an unnecessary baby seat costing $4.95 a day. But a steady and emphatic “no, no, no” usually works.
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