What Is a Fraud Alert?
What Is a Fraud Alert?

Placing a fraud alert on your credit report tells lenders and creditors that they must always verify your identification by contacting you before extending a credit line or loan in your name. This can help protect your identity from fraud by preventing a thief from opening any new accounts in your name.

There are three types of fraud alerts:

  • Initial Fraud Alert. If you're concerned about identity theft, but haven't yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 90 days.
  • Extended Fraud Alert. For victims of identity theft, an extended fraud alert will protect your credit for seven years.
  • Active Duty Military Alert. For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, this type of fraud alert will last for one year.

Once you've placed a fraud alert on your credit, you can remove it at any time. 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. Here's how to contact each of the credit bureaus:

  • Equifax: Online or by calling 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian: Online or by calling 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: By calling 1-800-680-7289

Read more about protecting your identity from theft on the Credit Karma Blog.


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 who or what is doing this?

Comment by
groudlevel

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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.

Comment by
Nikigrobe

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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?

Comment by
serenity4evermore

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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...

Reply by
gunny01

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

Thank you!

Comment by
jantbanks

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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?

Comment by
BeckyBailey1955

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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"?

Comment by
suryack

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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.

Comment by
cwtexan

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you guys do a great job 

Comment 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.

Reply by
lisasthreecats

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What does putting a freeze on ones credit actually do to help against fraud ?

Comment by
ballbeater

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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?

Comment by
flaten22

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