If you do not currently have a monitoring service you can sign up here.
For a Credit Freeze contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies. For a Fraud Alert you only need to contact one of the bureaus listed.
Freeze Credit: www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze
TransUnion in some states you need to pay a fee to freeze and unfreeze your report in some states. Check your state fee Here
Freeze Credit: www.freeze.equifax.com
Call: 888‑397‑3742(Option 2 followed by Option 2)
Freeze Credit: www.experian.com/freeze
National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange
Call: 866-349-5185(Option 1)
Freeze Credit: www.nctue.com/Consumers
What’s the difference between a credit report lock and a security freeze?
A lock and a freeze have the same impact on your Equifax credit report, but they aren’t the same thing. Both generally prevent access to your Equifax credit report to open new credit accounts. Unless you temporarily lift or permanently remove a freeze, or unlock your Equifax credit report, it can’t be accessed to open new accounts (subject to certain exceptions). See more about exceptions below.
- Security freezes (also known as credit freezes) allow you to place, lift, or remove a freeze using a randomized PIN for identity verification. Placing, lifting, or removing a security freeze can be done online, by phone, or by mail. Security freezes are subject to regulation by each state. Placing, lifting and removing a security freeze on your Equifax credit report is free.
- Credit report locks allow you to lock and unlock your Equifax credit file using identity verification techniques such as user names and passwords. The mobile app also can utilize thumbprint and facial recognition verification. With Lock & Alert, you can quickly lock or unlock your Equifax credit report online or via the mobile app. There are no fees to lock or unlock your Equifax credit report if you are enrolled in Lock & Alert.
Please note: If you have a security freeze on your Equifax credit report, you will need to remove it to use Lock & Alert to lock your Equifax credit report. If you have the PIN you received when the freeze was originally placed, you’ll be able to unfreeze your Equifax credit report and replace it with a lock during the Lock & Alert enrollment process.
Exceptions: Locking your Equifax credit report prevents access by potential creditors and lenders, but there are exceptions. These exceptions may include:
- Companies like Equifax Global Consumer Solutions that provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file
- Companies you have an existing account or relationship with
- Federal, state and local government agencies
- Collection agencies acting on behalf of companies you owe
- For fraud detection purposes
- Companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you
- Companies reviewing your application for employment
A security freeze does not apply to circumstances in which you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control or similar activities.
If you are actively seeking credit, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor, a few days before actually applying for new credit.
You have a right to bring a civil action against someone who violates your rights under the credit reporting laws. The action can be brought against a consumer reporting agency or a user of your credit report.
What’s the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?
A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
Three types of fraud alerts are available:
- Initial Fraud Alert. If you’re concerned about identity theft but haven’t yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 1yr. You may want to place a fraud alert on your file if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen for which you may want to hire an expert social security lawyer.
- Extended Fraud Alert. For victims of identity theft, an extended fraud alert will protect your credit for seven years.
- Active Duty Military Alert. For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, this fraud alert lasts for one year.
To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. A fraud alert is free. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies; they, in turn, will place an alert on their versions of your report.
ID thieves like to intercept offers of new credit and insurance sent via postal mail, so it’s a good idea to opt out of pre-approved credit offers. If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.
To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
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To opt out permanently: You can begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
Here is a comprehensive guide to the companies that have access to your credit information, and how you can check their reports.
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