Equifax Credit Monitoring: Fraud Alerts and Active Duty Alerts

What is a fraud alert?

A fraud alert is a notice added to your credit file that alerts creditors that you may be a victim of fraud, including identity theft and requires creditors using the file to take certain steps to verify your identity prior to establishing any new credit accounts in your name, issuing a new card on an existing account, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account, if requests for any of these actions are made. The general purpose of this notice is for the creditor to confirm that the request is not the result of identity theft. There are three (3) types of fraud alerts: an initial fraud alert that lasts for 90 days, an extended fraudalert that lasts for 7 years, and an active dulty alert that lasts 12 months.

An initial (90 day) fraud alert indicates to anyone requesting your credit report that you, in good faith, suspect you are or might become a victim of fraud. When you or someone else attempts to open a credit account in your name, increase the credit limit on an existing account, or obtain a new card on an existing account, the lender should utilize reasonable policies and procedures to verify your identity. You may also request one additional free credit file disclosure.

An extended fraud alert is similar to an initial fraud alert except that it lasts for 7 years and to verify your request a creditor should contact you via the telephone number or other reasonable contact method you provided to Equifax when you requested the extended fraud alert. An identity theft report showing that you have been a victim of identity theft is required to place an extended fraud alert. Also, you may request two additional free credit file disclosures, and your name is removed from preapproved firm offers of credit or insurance (prescreening) for 5 years.

An active duty alert is another alert available if you are on active military duty . The active duty alert is similar to an initial fraud alert except that it lasts 12 months and your name is removed from preapproved firm offers of credit or insurance (prescreening) for 2 years.

Generally, within 24 hours of placing an online alert request, Equifax will send your alert request to the other two nationwide consumer reporting agencies. The three consumer reporting agencies work together so that when you request an alert through one of the agencies, your alert request is sent to the other two agencies automatically.

Equifax customers with an eligible monitoring product can enjoy free access to the Automatic Fraud Alerts feature. This feature allows you to enter your intial 90 day fraud alert request through the "Alerts" tab in the Member Center. Your request is then referred to the other nationwide credit reporting agencies. Your fraud alert request will be automatically renewed every 90 days to maximize your protection. You may turn off the automatic renewal feature by simply revisiting the Alerts Tab in the member center any time you choose, and select deactivate.

*The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC, and fufilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.