CREDIT FRAUD FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) ABOUT CREDIT FRAUD.

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Fraud FAQs

Fraud Prevention
  • How can I prevent anyone from viewing my credit information?
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows access to your credit report to those with “permissible purpose”, such as someone who intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the extension of credit or the review or collection of an account; for employment purposes; in connection with the underwriting of insurance; to determine eligibility for a license; or for legitimate business needs. Your consent is not required. Most states have passed laws that allow consumers in their states to request that a security freeze be placed on their credit reports with the national credit reporting companies.

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Security Alerts
  • Can an initial security alert or an extended fraud victim statement affect me negatively?
  • The presence of an initial security alert or an extended fraud victim statement should not interfere with your daily use of a credit card or banking/checking accounts. A security alert or a victim statement may limit your ability to obtain instant credit for in-store purchases. If you prefer to purchase items on a new line of credit established at a retail store and you must take possession of those items immediately, your request for credit may be delayed because of the high risk associated with this type of business transaction.

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Victim Statement
  • What is an extended fraud victim statement, and how can it help to prevent further fraudulent activity?
  • If you find evidence of fraud on your credit report, you may want to add a seven-year victim statement to your credit report that asks potential credit grantors to call you before granting credit in your name. If you did not apply for credit, you can instruct the creditor not to process the application. This should prevent a new account from being established using your identification information. The victim statement has a section for two phone numbers to display.

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  • How can I request that an extended fraud victim statement be added to my credit report?
    • A written request from you that includes your full name, current mailing address, Social Security number, date of birth and any previous addresses used in the last two years. Please remember to state the phone number(s) you would like added to the victim statement
    • Two proofs of your address, one must be government issued, such as a copy of your driver’s license, state or military ID card, etc., and one copy of a utility bill, an insurance statement, bank statement, etc.
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  • What happens if I elect to place an extended fraud victim statement on my credit report, but I change my phone number?
  • You can have the phone number changed on your extended fraud victim statement if you mail a written request to Experian, PO Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013. The request must include your full name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and any previous addresses used in the last two years. Remember to specifically state the new phone number you would like added and the number to be deleted. In addition, include two proofs of your address, one must be government issued, such as a copy of your driver's license, state or military ID card., etc., and one copy of a utility bill, an insurance statement, bank statement, etc.

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Recognizing Fraud
  • When I receive my credit report, how will I recognize fraudulent activity?
  • In most cases, fraudulent activity can be detected by reviewing the accounts, inquiries and addresses that appear on a credit report. Review your report carefully for the following items:

    • Accounts: If you do not recognize an account and the account is newly opened, that may indicate that a criminal has obtained a line of credit using your identity.
    • Inquiries: Review all the inquiries on your credit report in the section titled “Requests viewed by others”. This section contains inquiries from creditors that have accessed your credit report to process an application. If you do not recognize the credit grantor accessing your report, that may indicate fraudulent activity.
    • Addresses: Review the addresses appearing on your credit report. If you discover an address that you have not lived at, it may indicate that the address was used on a fraudulent application for credit.
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  • What should I do when I find an account, an inquiry or other data that resulted from fraudulent activity?
  • The most important task is to notify the creditor reporting the fraudulent data. Simply call or write to the creditor and identify yourself as a fraud victim who would like to file a fraud claim. Each creditor has a process for investigating your claim. Cooperate completely with the requests of the credit grantor so you can ensure that you are not held responsible for payment on the account.

    In addition, you may contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the fraudulent data.

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Fraud Victim
  • As a fraud victim, do I have to pay for a credit report?
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that a consumer who has reason to believe that information in his or her report is inaccurate due to fraud is entitled to a free copy of his or her credit report. Visit our Credit Fraud Center to add a security alert and immediately view your report for any potential fraudulent activity. You also may call 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742) to add a security alert and for information on how to order a copy of your report delivered by U.S. mail.

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  • Should I file a police report?
  • In general, when a crime has been committed, it is a good idea to file a police report. If you would like to file a police report, we recommend that you call the nonemergency number for your local police department and explain what has happened. Your local police department can direct you to the appropriate department and explain what information you need to provide.

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  • I believe someone is using the identity of a deceased relative to obtain credit fraudulently. What should I do?
  • The executor of the estate or the spouse should notify Experian in writing of the fraudulent activity. Please clearly explain that the person is deceased and that you suspect fraudulent activity is taking place. Be sure to include the deceased person’ full name, most recent address, date of birth and Social Security number.

    In addition, please enclose a copy of the death certificate. The spouse of the deceased person may receive a credit report at their home address. To mail the credit report to the executor’ address, a copy of the executorship papers must be included with the letter.

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