There are many ways that the risk of identity theft can be elevated. Your wallet, handbag or briefcase could be lost or stolen, or your data may be compromised by a security breach.
Consider contacting the fraud departments of one of the three major credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on the credit file. Your alert request will be shared with the other two bureaus, and your files updated. These alerts will be on your file for 90 days. Any creditor pulling your report will be advised to contact you prior to extending credit, as you have reported an increased risk of identity theft.
TransUnion — 800-680-7289Experian — 888-397-3742Equifax — 800-525-6285
Consider placing a security freeze with credit reporting agencies by making a request in writing by certified mail. However, victims of identity theft must attach a valid copy of a police report, investigative report, or complaint the consumer has filed with a law enforcement agency about unlawful use of his or her personal information by another person. A credit reporting agency is not allowed to charge a fee for placing or removing a security freeze on a credit report to victims of identity theft. Credit reporting agencies may charge all other consumers $10 for placing the security freeze. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer's credit report or any information from it without the express authorization of the consumer. The freeze goes into effect five days from receipt of the consumer's letter by the credit reporting agency.
EquifaxP.O. Box 740241Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
ExperianP.O. Box 2104Allen, TX 75013
TransUnionP.O. Box 1000Chester, PA 19022