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    Fraud Alerts vs Security Freezes: What’s the Difference?

    You are authorized to place fraud alerts on your report and place a security freeze to make it more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name.

    If you’re certain that you are or potentially are a fraud victim, you can place an alert on your account.  It’s important to Know Your Rights when it comes to fraud and identity theft victimization.

    Maybe you desire an added layer of protection to prevent fraud on your account.  In that case, you may want to request a security freeze.

    Here’s the difference!

    A Fraud Alert is…

    an alert added to your credit report that helps prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. It alerts creditors to take added caution when verifying information and extending new credit lines.

    If you’ve been a victim of identity theft or feel you are at risk, you can place a fraud alert on your credit report. 

    Things To Know

    Tips


    1.  An Identity Theft Report is required in actual identity theft cases. Once you give creditors and debt collectors a copy of a valid identity theft report, they may not report fraudulent accounts to the credit reporting companies.

    2. Placing Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes online is recommended. 

    A Security Freeze is…

     

    an added layer of protection that prevents credit from being extended in your name without your consent. The freeze must be lifted before you can utilize your own credit causing approvals you seek to take longer.

    Things To Know

     

    • stops creditors from accessing your credit file or you can specify creditors and people who have permission to access your credit you must place a freeze with each of the three credit reporting agencies
    • fraud/security alerts are free, but security freezes may have an associated charge if you are not an identity theft victim based on state laws
    • the length of the freeze may vary by state and specific steps must be followed to lift the freeze
    • remember that once you place a freeze approval for new credit may be delayed as creditors may need additional time to evaluate your report

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