Learn More about what Placing A Credit Report Fraud Alert Involves
Obtaining a free copy of one’s credit report once in a year is the right of every American who is in fact, protected by US law. Though this should be good news for the average American, unfortunately the laws that were meant to protect the American citizen have in fact given rise to a lot of confusion, and even, in some instances, to credit report fraud scams.
One of the most common instances of credit report fraud scams is the websites that proclaim that they will provide you with free credit reports provided you part with your credit card details. Of course, if you did not already know a thing about how to obtain your credit report, this may actually sound like a reasonable request.
File a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File
However, in case you have been made a victim of identity theft, you need not lose all hope because you can still take some steps to reduce the harm caused to your finances and also to your reputation. One such step that you will need to take is to attach to your credit file a fraud alert that will inform credit issuers about your having been made a victim of identity theft. The placing of the fraud alert will then force the issuer into verifying with you before allowing fresh credit.
Thus, the credit report fraud alert acts as an impediment that can be likened to a roadblock, since it will force creditors to check with you before issuing credit. So, they will thwart the identity thief’s ability to do any mischief in your name. A corollary of filing a credit report fraud alert is that it will result in your being sent a free credit report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies.
Also, by placing a credit report fraud alert, it will make the fraud alert to kick in. Thus, it will put a stop to those pesky credit pre-approval letters that would otherwise have bothered you – at least, till a decent time interval has passed. Thus, your name will no longer figure on lists of credit marketing companies for at least two years. Though it is mainly a good thing, in case you needed what those credit offers were offering, you would not be able to partake of the offers.
To be sure, the credit report fraud alert only protects new accounts. If the thief was clever enough to have used your current credit, then the credit report fraud alert would actually prove to be ineffective. In addition, the credit report fraud alert can also end up delaying any applications you may have made to get credit or loans. This is because the whole procedure would involve many more hurdles than is the case of not having placed a credit report fraud alert.
Even so, in case you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, you will have to add the credit report fraud alert as soon as possible. In this regard, you must get in touch with the Fraud Victim Assistance Department of Trans Union, the Consumer Fraud Division at Equifax, or Experian’s National Consumer Assistance at Experian.