Michael A. Milazzo, CLU, ChFC

Registered Principal

The Meridian Financial Company

90 Lawrence Avenue, Suite 4, Smithtown, NY 11787

Phone:  631-979-4223

Fax: 631-656-8199 

Email: meridian@ae.cadaretgrant.com

Website: www.merfinco.com

July/August 2018

Alert, Freeze or Lock

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With identity theft becoming more common in the wake of high-profile website hacks, it is important to take steps that safeguard your online information. Here are some ways:

Fraud Alert
One way to put a stop to this type of cybercrime is to ask the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — to place a free alert whenever a request for new credit occurs. A fraud alert requires companies to contact you to verify that you want new credit before they approve it.

To get this alert, which initially lasts for 90 days and can be renewed multiple times, contact one of the three credit agencies, which then must notify the other two. If you have experienced credit theft, your fraud alert can last up to seven years.

Credit Freeze
While a fraud alert gives you access to your credit, a credit freeze will do as its name suggests: prevent anyone, including you, from opening a new account. You’ll need to ask all three reporting agencies for the freeze, which generally lasts until you lift it. Identity theft victims receive this service for free, but each reporting agency can charge $5 or $10 each time you freeze and unfreeze your credit.

Credit Lock
A credit lock is the most extreme and expensive measure you can take. Good for people who don’t plan to open new credit in the near future or who experienced identity theft, a credit lock will generally cost you a monthly fee charged by each agency. Your lock ends when your agreement ends, when you unlock it using the agency’s procedures or when you stop paying the fees.


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Michael A. Milazzo is a Registered Representative of and offers securities through Cadaret, Grant & Co, Inc, a member of FINRA and SIPC. The Meridian Financial Company and Cadaret, Grant are separate entities. I am registered to sell Securities in the following States: NY, PA, NC, FL, CO, ID.
The Meridian Financial Company and LTM Client Marketing, Inc. are unrelated companies. This publication was prepared for the publication’s provider by LTM Client Marketing, an unrelated third party. Articles are not written or produced by the named representative.

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