What is a fraud alert?
Monday, June 1st, 2009
Fraud alerts explained
When your personal financial information is compromised you might place a fraud alert or credit hold on your credit report. You can place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting each of the three credit bureaus.
For example, if a company has access to your social security number and encounters a security breach, that company may send letters out to all the customers who were potentially affected and suggest that all customers place fraud alerts on their credit profiles.
A fraud alert may protect you from potential unauthorized use of your personal information to open credit lines, but you should know that a fraud alert can also stop you from getting approved for an instant online credit card approval or any other form of instant credit.
This means, for example, that you cannot expect to fill out an application for a department store credit card and receive it right then because further precautions must legally be taken by the credit issuer.
You will probably be told by the lender that your application cannot be processed immediately, and then you will later receive a phone call from a fraud protection department verifying that you were the person initiating the application. These types of safeguards will be in place until your fraud alert or credit hold expires.
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