Instructions for activating a 7 year Fraud Alert:
Consumers should contact the three major credit reporting agencies and ask for an Extended Alert (7-year Alert), which stays in their credit file for seven years. If you ask for an Extended Alert, you will have to provide a copy of an identity theft report, which is a report you have filed with a federal, state or local law enforcement agency. An Extended Alert entitles you to two additional free credit reports from each credit reporting agency in a 12-month period following the placing of the alert.
Credit Reporting Agencies:
To place an extended 7 year Fraud alert, a credit reporting agency will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include copies of your Social Security card, driver’s license, and/or utility bills. You may cancel the fraud alerts at any time.
- Request must be submitted in writing to each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
- Consumer must provide proof of identity (copies of driver’s license or other government-issued ID, utility bill, bank or insurance statements, etc.).
- May be requested by the consumer or a representative (with legal documents proving authority over the consumer’s finances).
- May include up to two phone numbers for potential creditors to contact consumer (plus extensions); consumer must provide proof of one of the phone numbers, such as the page of the phone bill that gives the consumer’s name, address and the phone number.
- Consumers will be notified that they are eligible to request two free credit reports within 12 months after adding this alert. The report will be processed within 3 business days of the request.
- Consumers will not be able to dispute online, but will be directed to a fraud expert for assistance by phone or mail.
- Consumer will be opted out of prescreened offer mailing lists for five years.
- The Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) gives all consumers the right to one free copy of their credit report each year from each of the credit reporting agencies. All three credit reporting agencies have additional information regarding identity theft and the FACTA on their web sites. Order your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com
- You may request that only the last four digits of your Social Security number appear on your credit report. In all communications with the credit reporting agencies, you will want to refer to the unique number assigned to your credit.
Review Your Credit Report
Check each credit report carefully when you receive it. Look for accounts that you have not opened; charges that you have not made; inquiries that you have not initiated; and default and delinquencies that you have not caused. Check that your name, address, and Social Security number is correct on all reports.
Monitor Your Credit Report
Check your credit report regularly. The federal FACTA law enables you to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies. These are in addition to the free reports you can order after you place a fraud alert on your credit file. Order your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
We recommend that you stagger the receipt of your credit reports, ordering one approximately every four months. Order your report from a different agency each time. That way you can review your credit report three times each year. If you see possible fraudulent activity on your credit report, notify the credit reporting agecny.