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Common Questions

What is a Fraud Alert?

A Fraud Alert is an electronic red flag placed on your credit report to notify any potential creditors not to issue credit in your name without taking specific steps first.

A fraud alert won't limit you from using the credit you already have, nor will it prevent your current lenders from examining your credit reports to see how well you're handling your cards, loans and lines of credit.

One downside of a fraud alert is it can be ignored by lenders, even though, by law, they are supposed to take specific steps to verify the person who is applying for credit in your name. Another downside is fraud alerts expire in as little as 90 days. You have the option to renew, but most people don't stay on top of the timeline. An alert can be extended up to seven years, but only if you can prove that you have been a victim of identity theft which requires a police report.

Fraud alerts are also free through the credit bureaus.

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