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Thursday, January 10, 2008
Preventing identity theft - adding a free fraud alert to credit file
Yesterday, went to Experian's Web site and updated the fraud alert on my credit file. The alert is typically valid for 90 days, and after that, I just need to go to their Web site or call them (1-888-EXPERIAN) again to update the alert for another 90 days. Typically, a credit reporting firm also informs other credit reporting firms (such as TransUnion and Equifax) to update the fraud alert on their files as well. Adding the fraud alert was free, easy and took me under 5 minutes. Experian also gave me a chance to view/print my credit report online, so it was time well spent.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, although not foolproof, adding the fraud alert on credit reports helps in deterring identity theft since a lender/credit card issuer has to contact the person first before issuing a credit card or opening an account. So the alert can slow the credit card/loan issuing process since it can take days for the lender/credit card company to contact you before opening a new account but I don't mind that since I don't want fraudsters to be opening account in my name. I already have been a victim of identity theft and it's time consuming process to file reports, etc. In addition to a fraud alert, I have also added a victim's fraud statement to account at each credit reporting firm (adding the statement was also free).

For the contact info of the three credit reporting firms (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) for placing a free fraud alert, either go to their Web sites or check out the following related posts:

Putting Fraud Alerts and Victim of Fraud Statement on Credit File

Preventing ID Theft

Also, by law US consumers can get one free credit report from each credit reporting agency at: AnnualCreditReport (Phone: 877-322-8228)


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posted by Ruby @ 5:38 AM  
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