I recently lost my wallet – and after reading this post over at Five Cent Nickel about what to do when you lose your wallet – I decided that I needed to alert the various credit bureaus. My social security card (foolishly) was in my wallet, so I visited all three credit bureaus and filed fraud alerts. Here are the details -
Note: Experian stated that they would contact the other 2 bureaus and notify them of the fraud alert – but I went the extra mile and alerted them myself. Or, at least, I tried to.
Equifax does not have an online fraud alert form -that I could find – so I called their support number 1-888-766-0008. The process for filing a fraud alert is automated – I was asked to input my social security number, a portion of my address and my phone number. After a minute or two on hold – I was informed that the automated system was down – and that I needed to send in a letter alerting Equifax that I wished to submit a fraud alert – and the letter had to include about twenty different types of documents. My hope is that Experian has already contacted Equifax – and that the fraud alert is already active.
Edited July 29, 2008 – Equifax now has an online fraud alert form. Simply visit the Equifax home page and press the button that says “Free Report, Security Freeze, Dispute And Fraud Protection“. From there, you should be able to file a fraud alert and / or freeze your credit.
TransUnion does not have an online fraud alert form -that I could find – so I called their support number 1-800-680-7289. I was then prompted to enter my personal information (date of birth, social, etc.) and I was informed that I should receive a letter in the mail verifying that a fraud alert had been noted.
I am amazed that only 1 of the 3 bureaus has an online form for submitting fraud alerts. One would think, especially considering the reality of identity theft, that all three bureaus would have online forms (which would be prominently displayed on the bureaus’ home pages.)
Identity theft – reason 138 to hate credit.