Prevent Identity Theft with Fraud Alert

Can Fraud Alerts Really Prevent Identity Theft?

Looking for peace of mind in your ongoing battle to prevent identity theft, you need to know about fraud alerts. Anyone fearing his identity will be stolen or already a victim needs to learn about fraud alert. Fraud alerts help. Here's how.

Understanding fraud alerts

Two main types of fraud alerts exist - initial and extended. Both of these free alerts serve different purposes. An initial fraud alert lasts 90 days. This alert works if you think someone has gotten any of your personal information like social security number, or account numbers.

This alert tells any businesses that you currently do business with to be extra diligent in processing your information.

Extended alert makes up the second major type of fraud alert. This alert exists for those people who have already had their identity stolen. To take advantage of this alert, you must give the credit bureau an identity theft report from a law enforcement agency. Once you place an extended fraud alert on your account, it stays for 7 years.

Setting up fraud alerts

If you feel a fraud alert benefits you, contact one of the three major credit bureaus and initiate the alert. Contacting the other two major credit bureaus is their job.

Can fraud alerts prevent identity theft?

Fraud alerts definitely help in the battle to prevent your identity from being stolen. However, thieves get around them in a variety of ways. If a thief has stolen your identity and knows you have a active fraud alert, he may just wait it out until the initial alert expires.

The effectiveness of your fraud alert relies on businesses. Diligence matters when going through the proper checks of doing business with you. Stealing your information becomes easy.

Overall, fraud alerts are a helpful tool in fighting identity theft. While not perfect, a little goes a long way when trying to prevent identity theft.

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