Extended Fraud Alerts
An extended fraud alert is something like a report that can be placed by an identity theft victim by contacting each of the 3 credit reporting companies nationwide. Upon placing such a request, these companies issue a complete credit request form which the person has to fill out. Once submitted, they can keep track of their credit file and can get constant updates. This particular alert may be placed singularly by a victim or by a company for its workers. The process is to place a request, create a theft report and get a fraud alert. Victims are also eligible to do a credit freeze on their credit file.
Fraud Alerts and Credit Problems
Credit reporting companies are in charge of the fraud alert and credit freezes. When a person places an extended alert, there are several advantages, like getting 2 free credit reports within a year and the complainers name should be deleted from marketing lists for 5 years. These fraud alerts last for almost 7 years after the initial theft report. With this extension, there is also an option of getting a credit freeze done to the credit file. However, this is not very effective as the information may still be unsafe since some creditors and present companies may have access to that particular credit file. A freeze can be placed temporarily or permanently depending upon the gravity of the situation. In the event of the victim having the respective police report, there are chances of placing or lifting the credit freeze for free. In compliance with the credit reporting companies, the freeze details and credit details can be periodically analyzed and noted.
Placing a Fraud Alert
There are three important steps to placing an extended fraud alert which has to be followed anytime during such identity theft crisis:
- Contact the credit reporting companies and place a request for fraud alert. After receiving the proper application forms, attach a copy of the identity theft report and submit.
- Note the date when the form gets accepted and keep it handy as the fraud alert stays good for the next 7 years.
- Personally record all the calls or any credit communication from your side and keep a separate copy of each for cross verification.
Victims may take help from the Identity Theft Protection Services who tell you your freeze limits and also place the fraud alert to all the 3 companies, making sure the victims get the most out of it. Some companies have a tag with such services to protect their employees from being the victims of identity thefts and monitor their credits. These services ask for the power of attorney for a limited period of exposure to take care of the dealings on the victim’s behalf.
Within the applied time to the next 7 years, the victim can gain proper reports of their credit file and stay informed. Also, proper awareness is created among the citizens about relevant issues and also the ideas of overcoming them by submitting an extended fraud alert. Fraud alerts come under the scrutiny of Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who help such identity theft sufferers.