Starting today, Iowans can now check up on their financial reports. There are thirteen people in Iowa named Tina Moore…and nine of them even have the same middle name. Tina Moore of Des Moines found that out after she got a 300-dollar bill for a cellphone she’d never owned. Her first clue that someone had stolen her credit information came in a collection call from an agency that wanted the money for that overdue bill,. She says they even had her social security number…but she’d never had their phone. Moore contacted the cellphone company and on Monday accompanied the attorney general at a news conference to warn consumers to watch their credit for signs someone’s stolen it. Free credit reports available starting today will let you see what information is in your file. In addition to checking that report for accuracy, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says there’s another good reason to take a look at it yourself. Identity theft can be a scourge, he says, because you may not lose a lot of money but you’ll have hassles and problems trying to change information that’s “gone far and wide.” As part of a new federal rule, the three big companies that compile credit reports must let you have one free copy of your report every year. The three national credit-reporting companies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion but there’s one website set up to get all their reports from the same place — simply surf to www.annualcreditreport.com.
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