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cambodia3

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Should I place my credit cards on fraud alert?
I left my bag with my passport and completed application at a bus stop. Reported it lost/stolen but my personal information in on the application.

If I place a fraud alert on my credit cards will this prevent anyone from using my information to obtain credit and how will it affect my usage of my credit cards.

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That's a smart move to make. It will not affect how you use your cards; however, you will have to explain yourself when you go to apply for new loans as it will be a red flag. The fraud alert it to warn lenders of a potential problem and for them to take the necessary steps to advoid participating in identity theft.

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If you want to be really safe and protect your identity (not just your cards) then you should freeze your credit.  Visit the websites for all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) and for a nominal fee (or free if you have a police report on the theft) you can freeze your credit.  Each bureau will give you a PIN number (different # for each bureau) and whenever you need to apply for credit, you go online and enter your PIN number with each bureau.  That will "thaw" your credit for 30 days, then it re-freezes.  This prevents ANYONE from opening credit in your name.  I did this years ago and it is great peace of mind.

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