Close accounts that have been tampered
File a police report
Place a 90-day “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports by calling any one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies below or following this link. Placing a fraud alert on your account entitles you to a free credit report from each agency. Order these reports and them carefully. Look for fraudulent activity.
What does an alert do?
With a fraud alert active, you have to be available at either your work phone or home phone to approve opening the credit account. It will just require a short delay in your instant gratification and a call-back to the credit company authorizing the new account. A fraud alert won't cause any problems with your current credit card, bank or credit accounts. It's focused on new credit accounts, not the ones you already have opened. NOTE: If you're just about to apply for a home loan or refinance, let your broker know that you have a fraud alert in place because you're trying to protect yourself against fraud.
The Initial or 90-day Alert
A 90-day temporary alert is added to your account when you alert the credit reporting agency (CRA) that you have a good faith suspicion that you have been, or are about to become a victim of fraud or related crime, including identify theft. Consumers who add this alert are entitled to request a free copy of their disclosure and will be opted-out of Prescreen for six months. The consumer will be able to add a phone number to this alert so that the data user can verify the identity of the consumer. You only need to call one of the three or fill out just the single form above. Whoever you report it to will share the information with the other credit reporting agencies (CRAs) through the Fraud Exchange System.
The Extended (7-Year) Alert
A seven-year alert added to your account when a you submit an Identity Theft Report (below) and proof of identity. Consumers who add this alert are entitled to request two free copies of their disclosure and will be opted out of Prescreen for five years. This alert must include a telephone number or other reasonable contact method so that the data user can verify the identity of the consumer. This form must be manually filled out and mailed in to a CRA.
The request form is here. You only need to send this form to one reporting agency. The link is for Experian. Experian will share the information with the other credit reporting agencies (CRAs) through the Fraud Exchange System.
Removing an Alert
If you decide you want to remove a fraud alert you'll need to visit the same link as for placing the hold.
Relevent Phone Numbers:
- Equifax - 800 525-6285
- Experian - 888 397-3742
- TransUnion - 800 680-7289
- SSN-Fraud - 800 269-0271
Contact the Federal Trade Commission for more information.