Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Identity Theft – How to Get an Extended Fraud Alert

In our first entry “What You Need to Know About Identity Theft,” we outlined the following:

How Will I Know If I Am a Victim of Identity Theft?

  • READ YOUR BILLS – search for charges you did not buy that may indicate identity theft.
  • WATCH YOUR BANK STATEMENTS – any withdrawals you did not make?
  • CHECK YOUR MAIL – getting a new bill you did not know about?
  • GET YOUR CREDIT REPORT – are there accounts you don’t recognize?
  • HAS YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION REPLACED YOUR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD?

 

In our identity theft series, we’ll continue to answer questions and provide information about these issues:

What Can I Do?

  • Request an extended fraud alert.
  • If a child, you can freeze/lock your child’s credit and obtain his report.
  • Request a free copy of your medical records if medical information, such as diagnoses, procedure codes, and health insurance info, has been stolen.
  • You have the right to an attorney before you sign legal papers.
  • If you are offered credit checks, they are free on creditkarma.com.
  • Dispute errors in your credit report.
  • How long do you have to sue after discovering identity theft?

 

How Can I Get an Extended Fraud Alert?

Extended fraud alerts are free to victims of identity theft. This will alert potential lenders and creditors. You may still request a fraud alert if you aren’t a victim of identity theft. The cost is $10. You’ll receive two free credit reports within 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. As part of the extended fraud alert, credit reporting companies must take your name off marketing lists for prescreened credit offers for five years, unless you ask them to put your name back on the list. The extended alert lasts for seven years.

What You Need to Do:

  • Contact the three credit reporting agencies
  • Request an extended fraud alert
  • You must provide a copy of your Identity Theft Report (complete on FTC.gov)

Credit Reporting Agencies

 

You can also get your free credit reports and scores through creditkarma.com.

 

VISIT WWW.USA.GOV/CREDIT-REPORTS FOR MORE INFORMATION.

*Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice. This does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm.