What Is a Fraud Alert?

What Is a Fraud Alert?

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:

Type
Duration
Requirements
Key Benefits
Initial Fraud Alert: Available if you are concerned about becoming a victim of fraud/ID theft
90 days
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
7 years
Appropriate proof of identity and copy of an identity theft report
  • Creditors who pull your report are required to take reasonable steps to verify identity
  • Two free credit reports from all three credit bureaus in the first 12 months (after that, you're entitled to request one per year from all the credit bureaus)
  • Name is removed from "prescreened" offer list for five years
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
1 year
Appropriate proof of identity
  • Creditors who pull your report are required to take reasonable steps to verify identity
  • Name is removed from "prescreened" offer list for two years


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.

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

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 who or what is doing this?

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A credit freeze will protect you against anyone being able to open up anything in your name. The credit bureau sends you a password. If you ever want to open up any more accounts in your name you have to call them and they will unfreeze it, then freeze it back once your transaction if finished. The best one to call is equifax because they notify all of them for you.

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fraud alert was entered because of someone at the hospital I had been admitted to stole my wallet containing checks, credit cards etc ssn drivers license. Poss during the night as I slept. Still makes me shudder. Anyway told to call all the companies and let them know which I did. Will this hurt my credit? Will I ever be able to take it off?

Reply by
gunny01

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I'm in a similar situation as you are...However, my ex-wife signed for a credit card in both of our names...Her and her boyfriend went on a $20000 shopping spree... When I found out about it (I was overseas working), I went to the bank and explained it to them. They told me that because both of our names were on the CC, I was liable for it... Again, I explained that the CC was signed in 2006...I've been divorced since 2003...There's NO way in world would I sign a $20000 CC with my EX-WIFE... I've been fighting to get this off of my Credit Report every since then...

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Last April I went to file my income tax and it was rejected and I called the IRS to find out why and they told me I had already filed.  I told them I had not.  That I was just filing because I was ondisability and I was not getting anything back and I did not owe anything and they told me I was scheduled to receive a check and I told them that was not me.  they had me talk with their attorney and I was told to go and file a police report and I did that and I notified one of the credit beraus and I inform SS because I needed to let them know because I did not want them to think I was working and earning to much money and take away my disability.  I keep getting letters from the IRS that I will receive my refund at a later date.  I wonder if I should call them and tell them that they are sendeing them to the wrong person.  Also what will this do to my credit?  How can I stop someone from using my information?

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Love this site! Much better and easier to understand that many others out there.

Thank you!

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you guys do a great job 

Reply by
lisasthreecats

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I do not know. but I have Protect My Id watching my credit. South Carolinas Dept of Revenue was hacked and I think it was that.

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Great Site! I've found the information here extremely helpful.  I'm new so I may have missed it , but a method for searching the "Advice and Learning" tab would be a tremendous help.  Maybe based on a key word like a search engine. 

Anyway, this will be the first place I go for credit answers from no on, Keep up the good work.

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I have had my Cell account accessed by someone now after a couple of weeks investigation it is a fraud and Identiy theft issue. E-mails and all she has been in. Charges will be filed

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The article states: "In order to initiate a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus; that bureau will be required to notify the other two credit bureaus to place an alert on your file". Is this true for both "Initial Fraud Alert" and "Extended Fraud Alert"?

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Is your credit score affected when you place a 90 Fraud Alert Notice on your accounts with Equafax, Trans Union, and Esperian?

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