Be proactive: Monitor your own credit

Identity theft is growing by leaps and bounds, and most experts say it’s not a matter of if, but when, it will happen to you. So instead of sitting idly by, being proactive is the best way to take charge of your credit monitoring.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows consumers to request one free credit check from each of the three major credit monitoring agencies. TransUnion, Equifax and Experian offer this service.

Once you run a credit report, look for accounts that you did not open and immediately contact the financial institutions related to those accounts to report fraud. Also, close any credit accounts that you are not using and have a zero balance. These zero balance credit accounts become targets for identity thieves who may want to max them out.

You can order a free credit report:

We urge Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network members who suspect health care fraud to call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787 or to report fraud at bcbsm.com.