Identity Theft Awareness
Defend yourself with knowledge, awareness, and detection.
Book the real Danny Lents to speak to your group about identity theft.
  

ID Theft Speaker

Almost 10 million Americans become victims of identity theft each year. I became a victim in 2001. I've researched identity theft extensively to protect myself and help others. I want to help you avoid this nightmare.

Your odds of becoming a victim are greatly reduced with knowledge, awareness, and detection. Take action now to avoid becoming the next identity theft victim.

Book the real Danny Lents to speak to your group about identity theft:

dlents@IdTheftAwareness.com

Seminar Flyer (pdf file)

Fraud Alerts

Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name. The Fair and Accurate Transaction Act (FACTA) added a new section to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that provides for three varieties of alerts that consumers may add to their files with nationwide consumer reporting agencies
  • Fraud Alert
  • Extended Fraud Alert
  • Active Duty Fraud Alert
The alerts differ in their initiation requirements, time periods, and limits on creditors.

All three varieties of alerts must state that the consumer does not authorize new credit (other than an extension under an existing open-end credit account, that is, a credit card), an additional card on an existing account, or any increase in the credit limit of any existing account.

Here is an example for a credit report entry caused by a 90 day fraud alert

    ID SECURITY ALERT: FRAUDULENT APPLICATIONS MAY BE SUBMITTED IN MY NAME OR MY IDENTITY MAY HAVE BEEN USED WITHOUT MY CONSENT TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN GOODS OR SERVICES. DO NOT EXTEND CREDIT WITHOUT FIRST VERIFYING THE IDENTITY OF THE APPLICANT. THIS SECURITY ALERT WILL BE MAINTAINED FOR 90 DAYS BEGINNING 11-20-13.

Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you're entitled to order free copies of your credit reports, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports. Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Verify information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, get it removed. See the Federal Trade Commission's guidance on disputing fraudulent information in Credit Reports to learn how. Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.

  • Fraud alert -
    • Creditors must utilize "reasonable policies and procedures" to form a reasonable belief that the creditor knows the identity of the person making a credit request.
    • Alert stays active for 90 days. You may request another 90-day fraud alert by submitting a new request within 30 days of your current alert expiring.
    • Consumer can request one free credit report from each bureau within the next 12 months.
    • A fraud alert at any of the credit bureaus automatically initiates an alert at the other two. Call any of the following numbers 24 hours a day:
    • Equifax 1-800-525-6285 or online
      Experian

      1-888-397-3742 or online

      TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
      Innovis Info

  • Extended fraud alert -
    • Consumers may provide a telephone number in the alert which the creditor must use to verify the requester's identity unless the consumer designated another reasonable method of contact.
    • Alert stays active for 7 years.
    • Consumer must submit an identity theft report which includes a report from a law enforcement agency. Consumer is subject to criminal penalties for submitting false reports.
    • Consumer is removed from marketing lists for 5 years, which the bureaus sell to lenders and insurance companies for use in solicitations.
    • Consumer can request two free credit reports from each bureau within 12 months of submitted extended fraud alert.
    • Equifax Online request form
      Experian Online request form
      TransUnion Info
      Innovis Info

  • Active duty alert -
    • Consumers on active military duty can add an alert of their status to their files. Consumers on active duty include reservists who are on active duty, other than at their usual station. Once a military consumer requests the active duty alert, it will become part of his/her credit report for a 12 month period. You may request another active duty alert by submitting a new request within 30 days of your current alert expiring.
    • Consumer is removed from marketing lists for 2 years, which the bureaus sell to lenders and insurance companies for use in solicitations.
    • Does not entitle consumer to free credit report.
    • Creditors must utilize "reasonable policies and procedures" to form a reasonable belief that the creditor knows the identity of the person making a credit request.

There is a fourth credit bureau, Innovis, that does not share fraud alerts with the other credit bureaus. You'll have to submit a separate fraud alert with Innovis.
Call Innovis at 1-800-540-2505
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET

Removing Fraud Alerts

Please email me if you know of a beneficial reason to remove a fraud alert.  Fraud alerts may be a slight inconvenience when you open a new account since you'll have to be at one of the telephone numbers listed on your fraud alert. That's not a big issue if you list a cell phone.

You must submit a written request to the credit bureaus that contains identifying information including your:

  • name
  • address
  • Social Security number
  • date of birth
  • telephone number
  • Also send copies of two documents verifying your current address, such as current utility bills and your driver’s license

Send your written requests to each of the addresses below. You should consider using certified mail and/or overnight delivery since your request contains sensitive information.

Equifax
Equifax Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

TransUnion
TransUnion
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

Experian
Experian
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013