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Protect Your Credit With “Active Duty Alerts”


Military people are particularly vulnerable to identity theft for a lot of reasons:

Your name is on your shirt.

You are frequently called away from home for long periods of time.

You may have very limited time to monitor your financial affairs during a deployment.

The major credit bureaus developed the “active duty alert” to help servicemembers detect and prevent attempts at identity theft.

If you’re off on a mission, you can place an “active duty alert” on your credit report.

When this happens, and someone uses your identity to apply for credit, the business checking your credit will see the alert. If they see the alert, they are required to verify your identity before issuing credit. You can provide a phone number that they must call prior to extending credit. You'll also get fewer pre-approved offers for credit.

Credit alerts last for a year, unless you request to have them lifted. You can also have them extended as well.

To place an active duty alert at each of the three major credit bureaus, you can contact them directly, or use their online forms:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion doesn’t have an online form. Instead, call 1-800-680-7289. Enter your zip code, then enter your zip code. Select option 1, then option 3.

You can also place a 90-day alert for temporary protection in case you believe your identity has recently been compromised.

Note: If you are a victim of identity theft and submit a copy of a valid identity theft report that you have filed with a Federal, State or local law enforcement agency, then you may request an Extended Fraud Victim Alert, which lasts for 7 years.

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