How do I add a telephone number to an extended credit alert?
An extended security alert, also called a victim statement, asks creditors to call you to confirm your identity before they grant credit in your name. Unlike an initial security alert, which remains on your reports for one year, the extended alert remains on your credit report for seven years. When an extended alert is added, the fraud victim can provide up to two telephone numbers to include in with the alert.
Adding or Updating a Phone Number on your Alert
If you already have an extended alert on file and need to add or update the phone number, you can call the number on your credit report to speak to someone in the fraud department. For your protection, you may be asked to send in documentation verifying your identity. You can do so either by uploading it to Experian.com/upload or by mailing it to:
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
If you submit your request by mail, be sure to provide your full name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and any previous addresses used in the past two years. Remember to specifically state the new phone number you would like added, and if needed, the number that should be deleted.
In addition, include copies of two documents that prove your identity. One must be government-issued, such as a copy of your driver's license or state or military identification card. The second can be a copy of a utility bill, an insurance statement, a bank statement or another document that shows your name and address.
Adding an Extended Alert to Your Report
If you have not yet added an extended alert to your file but feel you need one, you must submit a copy of your identity theft report or police report from a law enforcement agency. You can find more detailed information about credit fraud protection at Experian's Fraud Center.
Protecting Yourself From Credit Fraud
Experian works hard to help victims of identity theft, offering preventive measures and alerts that help victims find out quickly if they've been defrauded. Here are some ways you can help protect yourself and your credit:
- Check your credit report often. Ordering your credit report frequently and reviewing it carefully can help you catch identity theft and credit fraud early and minimize the damage it does. You can check your Experian credit report for free every 30 days.
- Shred personal documents. Shred any paperwork that contains sensitive personal information before you throw it away.
- Make sure you are using a secure internet connection. Avoid accessing bank accounts or making purchases online unless you are using a secure internet connection. Also, always check the website URL to make sure it begins with "https" (and not simply "http") as the "s" means the website is secure.
- Use a credit card with fraud protection. Whenever possible, make purchases with a credit card that offers excellent fraud protection. Pay the bill in full at the end of each month to avoid interest charges and accumulating debt.
- Consider signing up for credit monitoring. Experian offers Experian IdentityWorks℠, a credit monitoring service for those who want to be proactive about checking their credit reports for signs of credit fraud. IDnotify™ is now free to active-duty military service members.
Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist