Introduction: When Should You Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Reports

Should You Place a Fraud Report?

Do you think you might have been a vic­tim of iden­tity theft recently? Are you serv­ing in the mil­i­tary and are about to be called into an active duty tour for the next year? Or are you cer­tain that you have become a vic­tim of iden­tity theft and you have already filed a report regard­ing the inci­dent with your local author­i­ties? If you can answer “yes” to any of these three ques­tions, then you will find that a fraud alert on your credit report can be a very use­ful tool to deter fraud hap­pen­ing under the aus­pices of your iden­tity. The good news is that plac­ing a fraud alert on your credit report is super easy to do and will only take a few moments of your time today.

The Dif­fer­ent Kinds of Fraud Alerts


There are three dif­fer­ent kinds of fraud alerts that you can put on your credit report:

Ini­tial Fraud Alert. This is per­fect for those who believe they may have become vic­tims of iden­tity theft, know they have had their iden­tity stolen and are just start­ing the recov­ery process, or there is the poten­tial of hav­ing an iden­tity stolen because of a lost wal­let, purse, credit card, other iden­ti­fi­ca­tion mate­ri­als, or finan­cial infor­ma­tion. This fraud alert lasts for 90 days.

Active Mil­i­tary Fraud Alert. If you know that you are going to be ship­ping over­seas for the next year for an active duty tour, you can request this fraud alert. This lasts on your credit report for 1 year and is intended to min­i­mize your risks of iden­tity theft while deployed.

Extended Fraud Alert. If you have a con­firmed case of iden­tity theft and an active report with your local author­i­ties, you may wish to take advan­tage of this fraud alert. It stays active on your credit report for 7 years.


Fraud alerts are con­ve­nient as well, because a sim­ple request not only puts them on your credit report, but it also takes them off.

Is a Fraud Alert Right for Me?


Fraud alerts are free to put on and free to take off, and because a fraud alert requires a poten­tial lender to ver­ify your iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, it can be a very use­ful tool to deter many iden­tity thieves who are look­ing for an easy mark. To place a fraud alert, you sim­ply con­tact one of the credit report­ing agen­cies and that agency will then con­tact the other two. A fraud alert, in many instances, also enti­tles you to 1 or more free credit reports that will help you poten­tially pre­vent other theft incidents.


Only you can really deter­mine if it is right for you… but the only “incon­ve­nience” is pro­vid­ing ade­quate iden­ti­fi­ca­tion if you want a new line of credit. Is that some­thing you can live with in order to stop iden­tity thieves?

Learn more about how to place a fraud alert on your credit bureaus and what steps you should take if you've been a victim of identity theft.
    


        

    

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