How to place or remove a fraud alert on your credit report
Initial fraud alerts
In the United States, under the provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), if you have reason to suspect that you are a victim of fraud or identity theft, or are about to become a victim of fraud, you can place an initial fraud alert. or security statement, on your personal credit file for a period of ninety days in order to alert prospective credit grantors and attempt to keep thieves from opening new credit accounts in your name. The fraud alert must be renewed prior to the 90 day expiration in order for it to remain active. You can remove a fraud alert prior to 90 days if you request it (in writing) and provide proof of your identity.
placing and removing a fraud alert is provided below.
How a Fraud Alert Works
While the fraud alert is in place, credit should not be extended in your name unless the credit grantor using the credit report takes reasonable steps to verify the identity of the person making an application for credit, and/or contacts you at the telephone number(s) specified, thereby reducing some potential opportunities for identity theft.
A fraud alert only has a chance to be effective if your credit report is actually pulled and reviewed by a prospective credit grantor, although even then it may still be missed or ignored. Many types of accounts, such as bank accounts, wireless / cellular, internet service, cable, utilities, etc. can easily be opened in your name without the creditor ever pulling your credit report.
Some additional important considerations for fraud alerts include: