Does placing a security freeze at one credit agency extend to all three credit agencies like a fraud alert?
Security freezes are not shared among the national credit reporting companies. You must request a freeze separately with each of them.
Security freezes are an optional service to consumers who are concerned about credit fraud. With certain exceptions, a security freeze prohibits access to your credit report unless you first lift the freeze using a PIN number.
Fraud victims can add a security freeze at no charge. If you are not a victim, there typically is a fee with each credit reporting company to add a security freeze. The fee and requirements for adding a security freeze may vary by state law.
Security alerts are free and designed to assist fraud victims and those who have reason to believe they may be a victim. There are two types of security alerts.
An initial security alert lasts 90 days. The alert says you have reason to believe you are a fraud victim and asks lenders to take additional precautions to verify your identity.
An extended security alert, or victim statement, says you are a fraud victim and asks lenders to call you before granting credit in your name. In order to add an extended security alert you must first file an identity theft or fraud report with law enforcement.
As you mention, security alerts are shared among the national credit reporting companies. If you contact Experian to request a security alert, it will share request with the other national credit reporting companies. To learn more about security alerts and security freezes, and how to add them, visit www.experian.com/help.
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The “Ask Experian” team