Fraud Alert

Will a Fraud Alert prevent Identity theft?

An alert is NOT a permanent solution to Identity Theft and it’s not always effective.

An alert is when you ask to have a preliminary hold placed on your credit if you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft.

The alert notifies the creditors that they should contact you directly should before issuing any credit in your name. This does help reduce potential attempts by identity thieves to use your credit to obtain new credit in your name.

There are two types of credit alerts that you can ask the credit reporting agencies for:

1. Initial Alert

2. Extended Alert

Initial Alert

An Initial alert stays in your file for 90 days. You will need to provide appropriate proof of your identity to the credit reporting agency.

Extended Alert

An extended alert stays in your file for 7 years. If you ask for an extended alert in addition to providing proof of identity as in the Initial Alert, you will be required to provide a copy of your Identity Theft Report.

An identity theft report includes a copy of any report that you that you filed with your local law enforcement agency as well as any other information you were asked to provide other consumer reporting agencies.

Additional information on reporting can be found at

Removing Alerts

To remove an alert you must request in writing to have the alert removed. This is done to protect your identity.

Credit Reporting Agencies

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;

Experian: 1-888-397-3742;

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;

Print Friendly and PDF

Return to the top - Fraud Alert

Back to How to Prevent Identity Theft

Back to the Home Page

Free ID Theft Newsletter Subscription




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you ID Theft Answers.

Don't Let Your Identity Travel Without You During The Holidays - Protect It with a 14-Day Trial From TrustedID

Additional Identity Theft Articles

AARP - Earthquake Scam

AARP - Elderly Scam

AARP - Email Hoax

AARP - Fraud Protection

AARP - 2012 Fraud Scams

AARP - Social Media Twitter

AARP - Social Security Scams

Business - BBB Beware

Business - Is your Business at risk?

Business - ITC warns of Business Risk

Business - Small Business Prevent, Detect and Remedy

Business - Secretary of State Warns of Business Identity Theft