Credit Security Freeze

Victim of Identity Theft? Follow these steps to freeze your credit.

What it is:

You may place, temporarily lift or remove a security freeze on your Equifax credit file under state law or the Equifax voluntary security freeze program. A security freeze is designed to prevent the information in your Equifax credit file from being reported to others, such as credit grantors and other companies, except those exempted by law or those for whom you contacted us and requested that we temporarily lift the security freeze or those that access during a period of time when you requested we temporarily lift the security freeze. To determine the methods and fees for placing, requesting a temporary lift or removing a security freeze.

Who can request:

Only you can request that a security freeze be placed on your Equifax credit file and only you can request that it be removed or temporarily lifted. Additionally, the security freeze will generally remain on your Equifax credit file until: 1) you request that it be removed or 2) you request a temporary lift of the security freeze for a specific party or parties, or specific period of time, as applicable under state law or the Equifax voluntary security freeze program.

Need to Plan Ahead:

If you choose to place a security freeze on your credit file, be sure to plan ahead for all of your credit applications. Under the laws of some states, it may take up to three business days to process a request to temporarily lift a security freeze. Additionally, you may not be able to request a temporary lift of a security freeze during non-business hours or on weekends.

Victim of ID Theft:

If you are an ID theft victim you may be eligible for free security freeze services as provided by your state's security freeze law. You will need to provide Equifax in writing an ID theft report or similar documents as required by your state. Please mail all required information to Equifax at

      Equifax Security Freeze
      P.O. Box 105788
      Atlanta, Georgia 30348
 

Submitting Freeze Request by Mail:

Although some states allow a security freeze to be placed, temporarily lifted or removed in other ways, in most cases to request that a security freeze be placed or removed on your Equifax credit file, please make your request in writing to us by mail. To determine how to place, temporarily lift or remove a security freeze from your Equifax credit file, see the requirements for your particular state of residence.

To submit your security freeze requests via mail, please submit the following personal ID information: your complete name, including any suffix (e.g. Jr., Sr., etc.), complete address, Social Security number and date of birth.

  • For the placement of a security freeze, provide the above required personal ID information via mail.
  • To temporarily lift a security freeze, you must submit all of the following along with the required personal ID information:
    • 10 digit personal identification number (PIN)
    • Date range, if your state allows for a date range lift, (e.g. March 15 - March 21) for the temporary lifting of the security freeze, or
    • Proper information regarding the third party to receive your credit report (e.g. Sears), if your state allows for a party(ies) lift.
  • To permanently remove a security freeze, you must submit all of the following along with the required personal ID information:
    • 10 digit personal identification number (PIN)
    • Two (2) forms of identification (e.g. pay stub with address and utility bill)

Please return your required personal ID information along with any additionally required information noted above to:

      Equifax Security Freeze
      P.O. Box 105788
      Atlanta, Georgia 30348

 

Charges for Security Freezes:

The charges for security freeze requests on your Equifax credit file varies by state. These are the fees associated with your state's file freeze law.

Please include payment by check, money order, or major credit card for the appropriate fees. For VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express payment, please include your name as it appears on the card, the card number and the expiration date.

Security Freeze Request Confirmation:

Once we place, temporarily lift or remove a security freeze on your Equifax credit file, we will provide you confirmation. Be sure to retain the 10-digit security freeze personal identification number (PIN) provided to you when you place the security freeze, as you will need this to request a temporary lift or removal of your security freeze. If you lose your PIN, you may request a new PIN. Learn more about a Security Freeze.

Experian/Transunion:

If you want to place a security freeze on your Experian or TransUnion credit files, you will need to contact them directly at:

Experian: TransUnion:
Experian Security Freeze TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O.Box 9554 P.O.Box 6790
Allen, TX 75013 Fullerton, CA 92834

 


Credit Protection FAQs

Questions we hear. Answers you need.


What rights do I have to remedy the effects of fraud or identity theft?
You can learn about your rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and your rights provided by the FTC.
How can I remove a fraud alert from my file?
A written request is required to remove a fraud alert on your credit file. You may write to Customer Service at the following address:
Equifax Information Services LLC
PO Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

Please be sure to include your name, social security number, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and telephone number. 

How do Identity Thieves do it?
First, they steal your personal information by...
  • Going through your mail or trash, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and tax information.
  • Stealing personal information from your wallet or purse such as identification, credit, or bank cards.
  • Completing change-of-address forms to redirect your mail.
  • Acquiring personal information you share on unsecured sites on the Internet.
  • Buying personal information about you from an inside source -- for example, a store employee that gets your information from a credit application or by "skimming" your credit card information when you make a purchase.
  • Getting your personnel records at work.
  • By being family members, roommates, or close friends that have access to your personal information.
Then they use your personal information by...
  • Opening new credit card accounts using your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. When they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquency is reported on your credit report.
  • Establishing phone or cellular service in your name.
  • Opening a bank account in your name and writing bad checks on the account.
  • Counterfeiting checks or debit cards, and draining your bank account.
  • Buying cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
  • Calling your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, changing the address on the account. Bills get sent to the new address, so you don't realize there's a problem until you check your credit report.
  • Filing for bankruptcy using your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name.
What can you do if you are a Victim of Identity Theft?
The following items are included in your credit file.
  • Keep a record.  Because recovering from identity theft can be a long and complicated process, it's important to keep a record of all of your communications.  Send all letters by certified mail and keep copies.  If you think your case might lead to a lawsuit, keep track of how much time you spend dealing with the problem.
  • Call the police.  Report the crime to the police or sheriff's department that has jurisdiction in your case and request a police report.  Though the authorities are often unable to assist you, a police report may be necessary to help convince creditors that someone else has opened an account in your name.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission.  Call the FTC's identity theft hotline at 877-438-4338 and file a complaint.  The FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems itself, but your complaint may lead to law enforcement action.
  • Check your credit reports.  Get your credit reports from all three nationwide credit reporting agencies and check for inquiries that you do not recognize and any new accounts opened in your name.  Because new accounts may take up to six months to show up on the report, continue to monitor your credit reports on a regular basis.
  • Contact one of the three Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies to place a fraud alert.  Have one of the agencies put a fraud alert on your file, which will aid in preventing new credit accounts from being opened without your express permission.  Equifax and the other two credit reporting agencies, Experian and TransUnion, work together so that when you place an alert with one of these agencies, your request is automatically sent to the other two agencies (see information about fraud alerts).
  • Place a security freeze on your credit files at each of the three Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies.  You may request a security freeze be placed on your credit files at Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  You will have to contact each of them individually in order to place a security freeze on their credit file on you (see information about a security freeze).
  • Block or close fraudulent accounts.  Contact the appropriate creditors, banks, phone companies, and utility companies and have them close and discontinue reporting the accounts.  You'll probably be liable for only $50 of the fraudulent charges, but different issuers have different policies.  Most creditors promptly issue replacement cards with new account numbers.
  • Mail fraud.  If you suspect that someone has changed your address with the post office or used the mail to commit identity theft, notify the US Postal Inspector.
  • Fraud using your Social Security number.  If your Social Security number has been used to commit identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is charged with handling most identity theft complaints at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).  To order a copy of your Social Security Administration earnings and benefits statement to check whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or to avoid paying taxes visit www.socialsecurity.gov/statement/.
  • Fraud involving your driver's license number.  If your driver's license number has been used to open accounts or verify checks, contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Fraud involving your passport.  Notify the U.S. State Department's Passport Services Department of the identity theft so that it can intercept anyone ordering a new passport in your name.
  • Fraud involving a business scam.  If the fraud was perpetrated as part of a business scam, contact the National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.
  • Bankruptcy filed using your name.  If someone filed for bankruptcy using your name write to the U.S. Trustee in the region where the bankruptcy was filed.  A listing of the U.S. Trustee Program's Regions can be found at www.usdoj.gov/ust, or look in the blue pages of your phone book under US Government: Bankruptcy Administration.  Your letter should describe the situation and provide proof of your identity.
Important Contact Information for Victims of Identity Theft?
There are a number of helpful services to help you respond if you have been a victim of identity theft. Below is a list of resources that we have compiled on your behalf.
Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline
877/ID-THEFT
Equifax fraud division
800-525-6285
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
www.fraudalerts.equifax.com
Experian fraud division
888-397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union fraud division
800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
My spouse or parent has died, what happens to their credit file?
You should notify Equifax of your spouse's or parent's passing, so that Equifax can update its records accordingly. Write to:
Equifax Information Services LLC
Office of Consumer Affairs
PO Box 150139
Atlanta, GA 30348
Please include a copy of the death certificate.
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