Simple Steps on How to Remove a Fraud Alert

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Simple Steps on How to Remove a Fraud Alert

If you’ve been a victim of identity fraud, found suspicious activity on your credit report, or were impacted by a data breach, you may have been savvy enough to place a fraud alert on your credit report. With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) receiving approximately 1.4 million identity theft complaints from consumers in 2020, placing a fraud alert on your credit report is one of the recommended steps if you’ve been victimized. Placing a fraud alert provides you extra protection because a notice is placed on your credit report with the three major credit bureaus, alerting potential creditors to contact you before a new account is opened in your name.

Placing a Fraud Alert

You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting any of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. The bureau you contact will notify the other two bureaus and fraud alerts will be placed on your credit report with them as well.

You’ll receive confirmation from each credit bureau that a fraud alert was placed on your credit report.


Types of Fraud Alerts

There are three types of fraud alerts that you can place on your credit report.

  • Initial fraud alert

    This alert is available for anyone who suspects they have been a victim of fraud. An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for one year and after a year, it can be renewed.

  • Extended fraud alert

    This alert is for anyone who has been a victim of identity theft. With this alert, you will be required to provide the credit bureaus an identity theft report and submit a police report. An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report for seven years.

  • Active-duty alert

    This alert is for active-duty service members. An active-duty alert stays on your credit report for one year, but after a year you can renew it for the length of your deployment.

Regardless of what type of fraud alert you’ve placed on your credit report, you have the option to remove the fraud alert sooner if you feel you no longer need it. If a fraud alert hasn’t been removed or renewed prior to its expiration, it will automatically be removed.


Removing a Fraud Alert

If you decide to remove a fraud alert before its expiration, you will need to contact all three major credit bureaus individually. Here are the simple steps to follow for each credit bureau:

Experian

You have the option to remove an Experian fraud alert by either submitting your request online or by mail.

  • Online
    1. Go to Experian’s Fraud Alert Center and choose “Remove a fraud alert.”
    2. You’ll be directed to this form to verify your identity and provide a written request to have the fraud alert removed from your credit report.
    3. Upload the completed form on Experian’s upload page; you’ll have to complete a short form to upload.

  • Mail
    1. Go to Experian’s Fraud Alert Center and choose “Remove a fraud alert.”
    2. You’ll be directed to print out and complete this form to verify your identity and provide a written request to have the fraud alert removed from your credit report.
    3. Photocopy a government-issued identification card and a utility bill, along with a bank statement or insurance statement.
    4. Mail these documents, along with the completed form, to the following address: Experian, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013.

Equifax

You have the option to remove an Equifax fraud alert by either submitting your request by phone or by mail.

  • Phone
    1. Call (888) 836-6351, from 8 a.m. to midnight ET, 7 days a week, to remove your fraud alert.
    2. Be prepared to verify your identity with an Equifax representative.

  • Mail
    • Provide a written request to have your fraud alert removed.
    • Provide copies of documents to verify your identity. You will need to include a copy of a document to validate your ID and a copy of a document to validate your address. Please refer to this list of acceptable forms of identification for verification.
    • Mail a copy of these documents, along with your written request, to the following address: Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069.

TransUnion

You can submit a request to remove your fraud alert for TransUnion online. 

  • Online
    1. Go TransUnion’s Fraud Alert page and use their online Service Center to remove a fraud alert.
    2. You’ll have to log in or create a user account to complete the steps.

 

And that’s it! Removing a fraud alert can be incredibly simple, as shown above. Just be sure you’re not removing a fraud alert prematurely.

Tags: Articles, Consumer Tips, Fraud Prevention, Identity Fraud

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