Experian suggests that you follow a four-step process if you notice something unfamiliar or suspicious on one of your accounts or if someone accesses your bank account or commits any type of fraudulent activity using your identity.
Step 1: Contact Experian's National Consumer Assistance Center
To add an alert at any time of the day or night, visit our online Credit Fraud Center or call Experian's automated service at 1 888 397 3742. An initial security alert can be immediately added to your credit file. This alerts creditors to confirm your identity before extending credit. Once an alert is added, your name will be removed from prescreened credit solicitation lists.
Remember! An alert may prevent you from being approved for new credit or you may be asked to provide identity information!
- Once you add your 1-year fraud alert, you will have the option to get your free report on the confirmation screen.
- The alert will be shared with the other national credit reporting companies, Equifax and TransUnion, so they can add the alert to their credit files.
Step 2: Review Complimentary Credit Report or Order Report
- Review your consumer disclosure for fraudulent data and call the special telephone number listed on the credit report.
- You will speak with an Experian consumer assistance associate who is specially trained in fraud victim assistance.
- Together, you and the consumer assistance associate identify fraudulent items. The items are investigated and verified.
Step 3: Experian Investigates
Experian verifies the information that the consumer alleges as fraudulent with the creditors or data furnishers. Upon receipt of a valid police report or valid state approved identity theft form, Experian blocks alleged fraudulent information from view by creditors and other users of the report. This allows you to continue to be credit-active without being penalized for any fraudulent information on your report.
Experian employs special system procedures and matching criteria to ensure that fraudulent data is removed as soon as possible.
Step 4: Fraudulent Data Is Removed
- Experian must complete an investigation within 30 days (or 45 days if information on an annual credit report is disputed).
- The data contributor is asked to verify the information it reported with its records.
- Once the response is received, the consumer will be notified of the results of the investigation.
The Difference Between a Fraud Alert and a Security Freeze
A fraud alert or initial security alert is a statement that appears on your credit report. This statement notifies creditors that they should contact you before granting credit in your name.
A security freeze prohibits anyone from accessing your credit report. Your credit file must be unfrozen for any creditors to access your credit. You can freeze or unfreeze your Experian credit report at any time, with your PIN or by verifying your personal information and answering a few questions. To get started, visit Experian's security freeze center.
If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, here are some important contact information that can help you respond:
- Experian Fraud Division
1 888 397 3742
- Equifax Fraud Division
1 800 525 6285
- TransUnion Fraud Division
1 800 680 7289
- Driver's license number fraud
Notify your state's Department of Motor Vehicles
- Social Security number used to commit identity theft
Notify the Federal Trade Commission at 1 877 ID THEFT or 1 877 438 4338
- Passport used in identity theft
Contact the U.S. State Department, Passport Services Department
- Mail fraud
Visit the U.S. Postal Service® Website, Government Services