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Fraud Alert

How to Remove a Fraud Alert From Credit Report

Through April 20, 2021, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dear Experian,

How do I get a fraud alert removed from my credit report? Can I remove an identity theft alert on my record after only a few months?

- NDG

Dear NDG,

Yes, you can request to remove a fraud alert (also called a security alert) from your credit report at any time if you decide you no longer need it. While there is more than one type of fraud alert that can be added to a credit report, the steps for removing them are the same.

Initial Security Alert vs. Extended Fraud Victim Statement

An initial security alert remains on your credit report for 12 months and notifies lenders that someone may be trying to apply for credit in your name and to verify your identity before granting credit.

An extended fraud alert, or fraud victim statement, on the other hand, can be added only with a valid identity theft report and remains on your credit report for seven years.

Experian also offers a one-year alert for deployed service members, called an active-duty alert.

How to Remove a Fraud Alert or Victim Statement

Experian automatically removes fraud alerts once they expire. If you have added a fraud alert to your credit report and would like it to be removed ahead of time, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Online
  • Option 2: Mail
    • You can mail your request to Experian along with copies of documentation verifying your identity. You can find a form to use for this request in Experian's Fraud Alert Center. Be sure to send copies (not original documents) of:
      • A government-issued identification card
      • Utility bill, bank statement or insurance statement
    • Send the written request to:
      • Experian
        P.O. Box 9554
        Allen, TX 75013

Fraud Alert vs. Security Freeze

You can also place a security freeze on your credit file. Unlike a fraud alert or victim statement, a security freeze prohibits potential new creditors from accessing your credit history at all unless you first lift the freeze. You must unfreeze your credit file before applying for credit or other services that require access to your credit history, such as opening a new cellphone account or applying to rent an apartment.

If you wish to temporarily lift or remove your freeze, you can do so online at Experian's Security Freeze Center.

Check Your Credit Report Often

If you've been the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised, checking your credit report frequently can help alert you to potentially fraudulent use of your identity so you can take appropriate action as quickly as possible.

In addition to receiving your free annual credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com, you can check your Experian credit report for free online anytime.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist

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