How to Add a Phone Number to a Temporary Fraud Alert

Couple shopping online with credit card
Dear Experian,

I want to add my cellphone number to my file because I just added a temporary fraud alert. I noticed when I pulled my credit report up online, you only show my home number.

- MSP

Dear MSP,

If you need to change the phone number on your fraud alert, you should call the consumer assistance number provided on your credit report, which you can get for free. A representative will be able to assist you in changing the telephone number in the alert.

For your security, you may be asked to mail a letter with proof of your identity requesting that the phone number be changed. If so, be sure to include your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth in the letter. You will also want to include documentation that proves the request is not coming from a fraudster pretending to be you by providing a copy of your driver's license or Social Security card and proof of your address, such as your phone bill.

How Does an Initial Security Alert Work?

An initial fraud alert, also called an initial security alert, notifies lenders that someone may be trying to fraudulently apply for credit in your name. Fraud alerts ask lenders to take further precautions to verify that the person applying with them is really you prior to approving the credit application. The alerts remain on your credit report for 12 months, and allow you to include one phone number that lenders can use to contact you.

When you add an alert with Experian, we will automatically notify the other two credit reporting agencies so that they can add an alert to their files as well.

Although having a fraud alert on your credit report will not cause you to be declined for credit, lenders may not be able to process instant credit applications, such as instant store credit, while you have an alert on your file.

Should I Add an Extended Alert to My Report?

Experian also offers an extended fraud alert, sometimes called a fraud victim statement. If you find evidence of fraud, consider adding an extended alert to your credit report. To do so, you must first file a police report or identity theft report with law enforcement, typically your local police department. You can then submit a copy of that report to Experian either online or by mail.

The fraud victim statement remains on the report for seven years and lets you provide up to two telephone numbers where you can be reached. It asks that lenders contact you to verify your identity before granting credit or services in your name.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

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