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Extended Fraud Alerts

Extended Fraud Alert

Extended Fraud Alerts

Credit protection for identity theft and fraud victims

Learn%20about%20extended%20fraud%20alerts%2C%20how%20to%20use%20them%2C%20and%20how%20to%20place%20them%20to%20protect%20your%20personal%20credit%20reports Bookmark and Share

Extended fraud alert

Extended fraud alerts for identity theft and fraud victims

Under the provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), if you are a victim of identity theft, you are permitted to place an extended fraud alert on your personal credit file for a period of seven years, at your request.

You can remove the extended fraud alert at any time prior to the end of the seven-year period, if you request removal in writing and provide proof of your identity at the time of your request.


What Happens When You Place an Extended Fraud Alert

While the extended fraud alert is in place, credit should not be extended in your name unless the credit grantor using the report first takes reasonable steps to confirm the identity of the person making an application for credit by contacting you directly at the telephone number provided or other method that you have specified.

As with a standard initial fraud alert, an extended fraud alert is also not an absolute guarantee that no new credit accounts will be opened as many creditors, particularly "instant" credit providers, may still disregard the alert. Further, accounts that may not require your credit report, such as banking, wireless / cellular, cable, internet, utilities, rental accounts, etc. may still be opened. One small additional benefit is that upon placing an extended fraud alert, you will also be removed from prescreened marketing lists for credit and insurance offers for a period of five years.

Tips:  Under the provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), a consumer who places an extended fraud alert and submits the required documentation is entitled to two free copies of their credit file from each of the national credit reporting agencies within a 12-month period following the placement of the extended fraud alert. This is in addition to the free annual reports available under FACTA.

Similar to an initial fraud alert, you should place an extended fraud alert on your credit file at each of three primary national credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You should also remember to place an extended fraud alert on your Innovis credit file as well.


How to Place an Extended Fraud Alert

In order to place an extended fraud alert, you must submit the following to the credit reporting agencies:

  1. An Identity Theft Report* (affidavit) confirming that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud; and,
  2. Supply adequate proof of your identity. Each credit reporting agency has specific requirements

* You may also be required to submit an official police report documenting that you are a confirmed victim of identity theft.



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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed a standardized Identity Theft Victim's Complaint and Affidavit, although it is not required to be accepted by all companies and organizations. Some companies may require victims to use the organization's own proprietary forms. You should ask the organization which form is required prior to submitting your request.

The FTC also provides a downloadable Law Enforcement Cover Letter that can be used to provide law enforcement agencies with information regarding the importance of a law enforcement report for identity theft victims, as not every jurisdiction requires agencies to take a report of identity theft.

Because you must submit a written request and the required documentation in order to place an extended fraud alert, the following links can be used to visit each credit reporting agency's fraud alert website to obtain the necessary forms, current instructions, and list of required identity verification documents:

Credit Reporting Agency Fraud Alert Website Extended Fraud Alert Request Form
        
EQUIFAX Equifax Fraud Alert Website Equifax Extended Fraud Alert Form
EXPERIAN Experian Fraud Alert Website Experian Extended Fraud Alert Form
TRANSUNION TransUnion Fraud Alert Website TransUnion Extended Fraud Alert Form
INNOVIS Innovis Fraud Alert Website Innovis Extended Fraud Alert Form
Learn%20about%20extended%20fraud%20alerts%2C%20how%20to%20use%20them%2C%20and%20how%20to%20place%20them%20to%20protect%20your%20personal%20credit%20reports Bookmark and Share
Equifax is a registered trademark of Equifax, Inc. Experian is a trademark of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. TransUnion logo is a trademark of TransUnion, LLC. Innovis is a registered trademark of Innovis, Inc.

This article written and ©Copyright by Michael Barnett. All rights reserved. Published with permission

 

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