Fraud alerts do not interfere with making credit card purchases

Dear Experian,

Am I able to use my credit cards with a fraud alert?



Dear AJL,

You can still use your credit cards if you have a fraud alert on your credit report.

Lenders only check your credit report when you submit an application for a new credit line. They are notified of the alert at that time so that they can take steps to verify your identity and prevent any attempt to commit fraud.

I’ve heard from some people who have the misperception that swiping your credit card through a reader at a retail counter or entering your information when ordering products online triggers a credit report review.

In fact, making a purchase with your credit card does not cause your credit report to be accessed. The reader at the counter simply sends the transaction information to the credit card processing system so your purchase can be completed.

Because your credit report is not accessed as part of day-to-day use of your existing credit card accounts, the fraud alert will not interfere with making purchases.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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