A fraud alert on your credit report notifies lenders and creditors who pull your report to take additional steps to verify your identification before they extend a credit line or loan in your name. This can help prevent a thief from opening any new accounts in your name and reduce your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers may place fraud alerts on their credit reports with the three major credit bureaus, free of charge. The bureau you contact is required to notify the other two credit bureaus to place an alert on your file.
Before you submit a fraud request alert, research the three types of fraud alerts you have to choose from. Here's some general information on the different types of fraud alerts:
There are three types of fraud alerts:
Initial Fraud Alert: Available if you are concerned about becoming a victim of fraud/ID theft
Appropriate proof of identity
Creditors who pull your report are required to take reasonable steps to verify identity
Extended Fraud Alert: Available if you are a victim of fraud/ID theft
Appropriate proof of identity and copy of an identity theft report
Active Duty Military Alert: Available if you are in the military and want to minimize your risk of fraud/ID theft while you are deployed
Appropriate proof of identity
To find out more information and place a fraud alert, you can contact each of the three major credit bureaus below:
- Equifax: Online or by calling 1-888-766-0008
- Experian: Online or by calling 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: Online or by calling 1-800-680-7289
Once you've placed a fraud alert on your credit report, you may allow it to either expire or request to have it removed prior to expiration. Each of the credit bureaus has a different process for removing fraud alerts. You can find additional information on how to remove a fraud alert from each of the bureaus by visiting Equifax, Experian or TransUnion's websites.
Take precautions to protect your identity and credit health.
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