20080107

Identity theft follow up

Placing a fraud alert tells someone loaning money in your name to call you first. Drawback: Might delay an impulsive credit purchase.

Here's how to do it:
Call 1-888-397-3742

This is the number for Experian, one of the major credit reporting bureaus. They'll report the fraud alert to other bureaus.

Calling this number gives you automated options. Here's what to do:
Press 2 (you don't want the "free" offer),
Press 3 (you want the fraud stuff, not more sales offers),
Press 2 (to place an alert),
Press 1 (for initial 90-day fraud alert).
Getting to this stage takes approximately 1 minute; then you punch in your personal identification numbers.

Alternatively, if you've been the victim of identity theft you may place a 7 year fraud alert. To do this instead of pressing 1 on the final step (for the initial 90-day fraud alert), press 3 for instructions on how to write to the credit bureau to place that 7 year alert.

TO GET YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Super-easy and free process: www.annualcreditreport.com
or call 1-877-322-8228

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