Fraud Alert

Nobody likes to have their security compromised even more so to have one’s identity stolen. As much as we want to be exempted from identity theft, there is just no guarantee that we won’t be targeted by those culprits. This doesn’t mean that you should take the security of your identity lightly; on the contrary, you have to be even more alert and vigilant.

If a time will come that you think you may fall prey to credit card fraud or identity theft, don’t hesitate to take the necessary actions to prevent it from happening. For example, if you have lost your wallet with your credit cards and social security card in it, don’t delay in contacting your creditor and have the card cancelled. Then immediately have a fraud alert placed on your credit report to help prevent a possible identity theft.


Fraud Alert

The name itself explains it; fraud alert basically notifies businesses or anyone who would pull up your credit report that your information has been compromised. The entities that have pulled up your credit report would then have to take extra measures in verifying that the person applying for a loan or a credit card is indeed you.

Placing a fraud alert on your credit report is free and you can do it on your own. So there shouldn’t be a reason for you not to activate this feature, if your personal information gets compromised.


Types of Fraud Alert

There are two major types of fraud alert that you can utilize to help protect you from theft and fraud.

  • Initial Fraud Alert – If you think that your personal information has been compromised for the first time and haven’t been a victim of identity theft, this type of fraud alert is what you would want to activate. The initial fraud alert lasts for Ninety (90) Days and can be renewed should you find it necessary.
  • Extended Fraud Alert – This fraud alert is best for people who have been victimized by identity theft already and may still be clearing out fraudulent activities under their names. Although the function of the feature is the same as the initial fraud alert, It’s duration of seven (7) years is necessary and more convenient, instead of activating the former and keep renewing it every ninety days.

How to place a fraud alert

Get in touch with any of the three major credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) to have a fraud alert added to your credit report. You don’t need to contact all three of the bureaus, you just need to contact one. Whoever you have selected will be the one who will contact the other two bureaus to inform them of your request of fraud alert.

If you will just be placing an initial fraud alert, the three credit bureaus offer forms that you could just fill out and submit online, making the process quicker and hassle free. However if what you need is the extended fraud alert, the request will have to be in writing. This is also the case if you would request to have an alert removed from your credit report.

Who Can View My Credit Report?

Your credit report contains all sorts of personal information: your address, employment history, social security number, etc. This report also bears the summary of your credit history, your account numbers, and overdue accounts.  If you have accounts that were turned over to credit agencies, these will also show in your credit report.

All this information is very useful to organizations, as they can determine if you are eligible to acquire their services. Continental Finance will access your credit report to decide which credit tier would suit you best. Many credit card companies are quick to reject applicants based on a negative credit report. However, Continental Finance takes time to thoroughly review the applicant’s history to ensure fair treatment with the goal of giving consumers the opportunity to rebuild their credit score.

It’s not just financial that will need access to your credit report. Employers may require a credit history screening. If you are looking to rent an apartment or house, many landlords will check your credit report to determine if you will pay in a timely manner. Basically, most organizations that you have initiated business with will probably need to check your credit report to determine your eligibility.

You should also know, many lenders and merchants purchase memberships to credit bureaus for fast and easy access to customers’ credit history. However, credit bureau members have a contract limiting their usage; they are only allowed access when they are considering persons for employment, extensions of credit, or other legitimate business reasons.

If you’re now worried about the safety of your credit report information, you shouldn’t be. There is a law established that protects your credit report information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) specifies who are allowed to access your credit report and why. This act states that a company/individual must have a legitimate reason to view your credit report. Any organization or individual who acquires a copy of your credit report under false pretenses can be fined and jailed for up to a year.