How to Report Possible Identity Theft to the Credit Bureau

How to Report Possible Identity Theft to the Credit Bureau
Act quickly to lower the impact of identity theft on your credit score.

Report the ID Theft

You can report the identity theft by calling each credit bureau’s fraud department. At Equifax the number is (800) 525-6285. For Experian call (888) 397-3742, and for TransUnion call (800) 680-7289. As an alternative, you can report the identity theft online at each of the credit bureau's websites. Each credit bureau will work with you to come up with a strategy to protect your credit history and keep unauthorized accounts from being opened.

Protect Your Credit

Once the identity theft is reported, you can select how to manage your credit while the situation gets sorted out. A fraud alert is free to place and requires the business to verify your identity before it issues credit in your name. The initial alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. If you report it to one credit reporting agency, that agency must alert the other two as well. You also can place a security freeze on the file, which keeps the credit bureau from sharing your credit report at all. This has a fee associated with it in most states, and you have to place the freeze at each of the three bureaus individually. You’ll then have to lift the freeze, temporarily or permanently, the next time you want to apply for credit.