How do I Request a "Fraud Alert" be Placed on my Credit Report File?

09 Jan How do I Request a "Fraud Alert" be Placed on my Credit Report File?

A 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act known as “The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act” (FACTA) mandated the creation of an “official” website which became located at the following URL: www.annualcreditreport.com. Annualcreditreport.com is a great resource for credit report questions and answers. Regarding fraud alerts, the site explains:

You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place “fraud alerts” in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.

Equifax: 1-877-576-5734; www.equifax.com

Experian: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com/fraud

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com

An initial fraud alert stays in your file for at least 90 days. An extended alert stays in your file for seven years. To place either of these alerts, a consumer credit reporting company will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security number. If you ask for an extended alert, you will have to provide an identity theft report. An identity theft report includes a copy of a report you have filed with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency. For more detailed information about the identity theft report, visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney Susanne Robicsek also has a useful article about identity theft on her website.

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