How do credit fraud alerts work?

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 Q. I’m concerned about all the ID theft stories I see, and I’ve heard I can set special fraud alerts on my credit reports and my credit card accounts. How do I do that, and what will that do?

A. It’s smart to keep a close eye on your credit reports.

And you’re correct, you can place fraud alerts on your credit reports.

“A fraud alert prevents any one from opening credit in your name,” said Adam Levin of “To place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit report, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert.”

The agency will notify the other two agencies, Levin said, and you’ll be given a free copy of your credit report.

Make sure you’re prepared to provide proof of your identity.

Here are the links for the three major credit bureaus:


Also be aware that you have credit reports that go beyond the big three. Plus, you can learn more about free credit reports here.

Email your questions to moc.p1590838070leHye1590838070noMJN1590838070@ksA1590838070.

This story was first posted in June 2015. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.