Credit Reporting Agencies Fraud Alert Feature Review

Credit Reporting Agencies

Credit reporting agencies offer a fraud alert feature which has advantages if your identity has been stolen or fraudulently used, but how well do these actually work? Consumers have a legal right to a free yearly credit report, to monitor their credit and ensure there are no erroneous or fraudulent entries. If there is any suspected fraud you can place a fraud alert with each of the main credit bureaus for all of your credit files, to ensure that further activity of this type is prevented. Once a fraud alert has been placed on your credit report and attached to your individual credit scores then the major credit reporting agencies make any potential creditors verify the identity of the individual in a verbal manner before allowing any new credit lines or taking other specified action.

A fraud alert shows when a credit history check is performed, and this lets potential creditors know to verify your identity with a phone call to your number on record. Identity thieves can not open up any new credit accounts once the fraud alert is placed by the credit reporting agencies. If the consumer can not be reached to verify the credit charges and identity on the credit report or account then no action is taken, and no credit is offered until the verbal verification is received. If your identity is used by thieves then extensive credit score repair may become necessary, and a fraud alert can help prevent this complication from occurring.

There are two main types of fraud alerts which can affect your credit report, and these may be needed even if you have a poor or insufficient credit history. When a fraud alert is placed by the credit reporting agencies it may be a 90 day fraud alert or a 7 year fraud alert. The 90 day alert may be placed if you lost your purse or have reason to believe that your identity may be at risk. When identity theft has occurred then a 7 year alert will be issued, so that no credit accounts or credit loans can be opened without verbal verification.