What is a fraud alert?

Last Updated: Jun 11, 2013 04:24AM UTC

A fraud alert helps prevent identity thieves from opening an account in your name. When a fraud alert is active, credit issuers must take extra steps to verify your identity before opening a new credit account using your information including your Social Security number.

A fraud alert can be placed on your credit report for free at your request. The original fraud alert lasts for 90 days and is renewable.

When you place a fraud alert with one credit reporting agency, it must share the alert with the other two.

To place a fraud alert, contact a credit reporting agency at the following websites or phone numbers:

TransUnion - 1-800-680-7289

Experian - 1-888-397-3742 

Equifax - 1-800-525-6285

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