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Identity theft and fraud protection for your finances, personal info, and devices.

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Types of Fraud Alerts: Initial, Extended, and Active Duty

There are three different types of fraud alerts you can request, depending on your needs:

1. Initial fraud alert

Anyone who suspects fraud can set up an initial fraud alert. It lasts for one year, and you can renew it every year thereafter. For an initial fraud alert, you’ll need to present documents to prove your identity and current mailing address.

An initial fraud alert requests lenders confirm your identity, but it doesn’t offer any other benefits.

‍Who it’s for: People who suspect their identity has been stolen. ‍

How long does it last? 1 year (can be renewed).

2. Extended fraud alert

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you can set up an extended fraud alert. It lasts for seven years and can be renewed indefinitely. In addition to documents proving your identity and mailing address, you may need to present an official identity theft report.

Bureaus will accept either a report filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or a police report. We recommend filing both.

On top of confirming your identity for new credit, an extended alert removes you from prescreened credit card and insurance offers for the first five years of the alert.

You also get access to an extra free credit report from each major credit bureau each year, as well as the one you’re entitled to by law.

‍Who it’s for: Anyone who has been the victim of identity theft.‍

How long does it last? 7 years (can be renewed).

3. Active duty alert

Service members on active duty can request a fraud alert that lasts for one year and can be renewed each year for the length of their deployment. To request an active duty alert, you don’t need to be a victim of identity theft. However, you will have to provide your military ID alongside other identity documents.

In addition to verifying your identity for each new credit request, an active duty alert also removes you from pre-screened offers for two years.

‍Who it’s for: Active duty service members on deployment. ‍

How long does it last? 1 year (can be renewed).

Here’s how to contact the credit bureaus:

Equifax: 800-685-1111 or by visiting Equifax’s website

Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) or by visiting Experian’s website

TransUnion: 888-909-8872 or by visiting TransUnion’s website

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