ITRC How To: Place a Fraud Alert
When placing a fraud alert on your credit reports it is important to know that there are two types: a 90-day fraud alert and a 7-year fraud alert. A 90-day fraud alert can be applied for using all the methods listed below, but a 7-year fraud alert can only be applied for by victims of identity theft and have to be sent by mail with a copy of a police report stating you are a victim of identity theft.
- Visit each Credit Reporting Agency’s (CRA’s) website individually and use their online forms for placing a 90-day fraud alert.
- After you place the fraud alert, they will send you an email or give you a prompt on the screen to view your credit reports, for free, to make sure everything is okay.
- For best results, the ITRC suggests you contact all three CRAs yourself. If you file with one agency they may contact the other two for you, but this can take a few days.
- Call each Credit Reporting Agency using their specific hotline for fraud alerts.
- Equifax - (800) 525-6285
- Experian – (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion – (800) 680-7289
- Keep in mind you will not be able to actually speak with anyone when calling these hotlines. They are all automated. They will ask you for the following information:
- Your Social Security number
- The numbers in your mailing address (the address your bills go to)
- Your birth date
- You should receive a confirmation letter in the mail within three weeks. This letter will also give you instructions for ordering a free copy of your credit report. This copy does not count against your ability to receive your free annual credit reports.
- When placing a fraud alert by mail with the three CRAs you will need to send each agency a cover letter explaining your request and documentation proving your identity. Send each packet via Certified Mail with Return Receipt. The CRAs may not accept your request if it is not sent this way.
- Use ITRC Form: 90-Day Fraud Alert Request or ITRC Form: 7-Year Fraud Alert Request.
- A copy of your current and valid Driver’s License or State ID with your current address.
- A change of address card or print out, if you have moved, along with the copy of your identification
- A copy of your Social Security card
- A copy of a current bill, bank statement, pay stub or lease agreement that shows your name and the same address that is on your ID or change of address card or print out.
- A copy of your identity theft police report (if applying for the 7yr Fraud Alert)
All fraud alerts can be replaced after the specified time frame is up, at no charge. Mark your calendar so that you know when to contact them again to ensure you are always protected.