How to Put a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report

by Hank Coleman

My wife recently called me while I was at work and told me that she had lost a document with her social security number on it.  So, I went onto TransUnion’s website and initiated a fraud alert.  A fraud alert will protect your credit report and credit score if you think that you have been the victim of identity theft or if there is a very real likelihood that you might have been exposed to a lost social security number like in our case. 

Any lender who requests your credit report will then be informed of the alert, and they are supposed to contact you again to verify that you are the actual loan applicant.  The alert will stay on your credit bureau report for ninety (90) days or longer if you submit a police report to the credit bureau.  Also, whichever credit bureau you alert initially will automatically let the other two, Equifax and Experian, know to place an alert on your records with them which will take an extra load off of your shoulders of contacting everyone. 

If you are especially worried about identity theft, you can put a more restrictive credit freeze on your social security number and credit report.  Or, you can use a service such as Life Lock which is a company that provides a service that prevents your identity from being stolen before it happens.  You may have seen the great commercials where the company’s CEO is so confident of his company’s services that he walked around New York City handing out flyers with his real social security number on it.  There are also several billboards with his social on them too!  The company is pretty impressive, and they guarantee their work upto a million dollars! 

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