If you think that your identification information could be or has been used fraudulently to draw credit from lenders, you can put a Security Alert on your credit report for free. This means that every time a query is submitted to the credit bureau about your credit report, the lenders will contact you to confirm whether it was you who made the application for credit prior to issuing credit in your name. This Security Alert remains active on your report for 90 days. You may renew it after 90 days if you still feel at risk.
Things You'll Need
- Internet access
- Your SSN, Date of birth, State ID number or Driver's License Number
Go to Experian home page by typing: www.experian.com.
Once on the home page scroll down to the bottom. Click on the link: "Identity theft and fraud protection."
This will take you to "Fraud Prevention." On the left side you will see a column with links and tabs; click on "Victim assistance process."
On the next page click on "Credit Fraud Center." This will be embedded in the text rather than as an isolated link. Click on it.
You are now in the Credit Fraud page. Click on "Initial Security Alert (90 days)" this is the first link.
Fill out the form on the next page and submit.
For next 90 days you will receive calls from any lender that has a credit application in your name. So even if you apply for a credit card yourself you will hear from the credit card company confirming that you actually did submit this credit application.
Tips & Warnings
- Signing up for the Initial Security Alert only protects you against applications that lenders submit to Experian. It may not necessarily be effective when lenders use one of the other 2 bureaus. However most of the creditors use reports from all 3 bureaus to process your application.