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Topics addressed on September 1, 2010:
Why you might be required to mail a request for your credit report
I tried to get my credit report from Experian online, and a box popped up saying I could get it by mail, but not online, because of security reasons. Do you know why? Is it because there's something suspicious on my report? How can I find out?
In most instances you are asked to provide your request in writing because Experian is unable to sufficiently match the identifying information you provided with the information it has on file. By asking you to provide identity documentation we are able to ensure the report is going to the correct person.
Usually, it is simply a precaution and there is nothing to be overly concerned about. However, in rare instances someone may have attempted to commit fraud against you resulting in contradictory identifying information appearing in our credit records.
Before providing the report we request documentation to ensure the report is not disclosed to an identity thief. After verifying your identity we will be able to send your report and update our records so that you will be able to access the report online in the future.
We can’t know without reviewing your report exactly what caused us to ask you to mail your request, but you almost certainly will be able to tell immediately once you receive your report.
The report will include all of the information we have on file, including the identifying information that has been reported as belonging to you.
Check your report carefully. If everything is familiar or there are easily recognized variations, you probably have little to be concerned about. On the other hand, if you find unrecognized names, numbers or accounts, you should consider taking additional action because you may be a victim of identity theft.
You can learn more about steps you can take if you are a victim in Experian’s online Fraud Center.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team