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Protect Your Identity

Tips for Identity Theft Prevention:


How to Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report


If you are aware someone has obtained or misused your personal or financial information, call one of the companies and ask for an initial fraud alert on your credit report.  If you’re concerned about identity theft, but haven’t yet become a victim, you can also place an initial  fraud alert.  For example, you may want to place a fraud alert if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen. You may also want to place a fraud alert if your personal information was exposed in a data breach. A fraud alert is free. The company you call must tell the other companies about your alert. 

An initial fraud alert can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit, so it may try to contact you. The initial alert stays on your report for at least 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days. It allows you to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.

Step one: Contact one credit reporting agency.  Ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file.  Confirm the company you call will contact the other two companies.  Placing the alert is free.

Step two:  Update your files.  Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.  Keep copies of the letters in your files. 

Step three:  Mark your calendar.  The initial fraud alert stays on your report for 90 days.  You can renew it after 90 days.

Contact information:

TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

Experian 1-888-397-3742

Equifax 1-800-525-6285


Identity theft tips provided by California Department of Justice.

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