I just filed an initial fraud alert with another credit bureau. Do I need to file an additional report with you?
No, you do not need to request another fraud alert with Experian if you've filed one with another bureau.
How Requesting a Fraud Alert Works
When you request an initial fraud alert to be added to your credit file with any of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion or Equifax), the bureau you contact will notify the other two and alerts will be added on your credit files there as well. An initial security alert will remain on your report for one year.
You should receive confirmation from each company that the alert has been added. If not, you can contact each agency to confirm the alert is on file.
When you add a fraud alert, you can request a free copy of your report. Keep in mind that each credit reporting agency may have slightly different information on file, so you will want to request and review all three credit reports carefully for any signs of identity theft.
Additional Things to Know About Fraud Alerts
Along with adding the initial alert, Experian will automatically opt you out of receiving preapproved offers for six months.
Be sure to contact your local police department to file an identity theft report and then contact Experian if you suspect there are fraud-related items on your report.
Once you've filed a police report, you can request a seven-year victim statement be added to your credit history. It will include two telephone numbers lenders can use to contact you and confirm your identity before granting credit in your name.
Recovering From Credit Fraud
Here are the steps to take to begin recovering from credit fraud once you've added an alert:
- If you see anything on your Experian credit report you believe is the result of fraud, notify Experian right away to dispute the information.
- You should also directly contact any lenders involved and initiate an investigation with them as well. They may request that you take certain steps, such as filling out a fraud affidavit through the Federal Trade Commission or submitting a copy of your identity theft report, as part of their investigation.
- As mentioned above, be sure to contact Equifax and TransUnion to request copies of your credit reports from them as well. Review them carefully and notify them right away if you see any fraud-related information on the reports they provide.
Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist