Guests should also consider placing a fraud alert on one's credit files. An initial fraud alert, which lasts for 90 days, requires potential creditors to use reasonable policies and procedures to verify a customer's identity before issuing credit in his/her name. To place an alert, calls can be made to any one of the following three credit reporting agencies: Experian (888) 397-3742; Equifax (800) 525-6285; or TransUnion (800) 680-7289.
This automatically allows one to place an alert with all three of the agencies. Customers then will receive letters from all three agencies, confirming that the alert is in place and letting customers know how to obtain a free copy of one's credit report. Interested parties also can order a free copy of his/her credit report by calling (877) 322-8228 or by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
In addition, some states permit customers to place a security freeze on one's account. The security freeze prohibits anyone from opening up new credit without the use of a PIN. It is important to note that the use of a security freeze may impact one's ability to obtain credit, so please contact the credit reporting agencies listed above for the specific procedures and to review a state's rules.