How to Place an Equifax Fraud Alert and Protect Your Credit

Placing a fraud alert with Equifax can be done in a matter of minutes and can keep you safe from identity theft.


Jeremy Fuchs
Updated 18 August 2021
How to Place an Equifax Fraud Alert and Protect Your Credit
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90% of data breaches are caused by phishing
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Source: Digital InTheRound, 2021

Sections on this page
  1. Step 1: Decide How You Are Going to Place the Equifax Fraud Alert
  2. Step 2: Provide The Required Information
  3. Step 3: The Equifax Fraud Alert Is In Effect
  4. Remove an Equifax Fraud Alert
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Placing an Equifax fraud alert is very easy and can be done in minutes—simply follow these steps.

Step 1: Decide How You Are Going to Place the Equifax Fraud Alert

There are three options in placing a fraud alert—online, by phone, or via mail. The information required to submit the report is the same; however, there are different ways to go about it:

  • Online by first creating a myEquifax account.
  • By calling (800) 525-6285.
  • By mailing your request to:
    Equifax Information Services LLC
    PO Box 105069
    Atlanta, GA 30348

NOTE: Extended fraud alerts must be requested by mail.

Step 2: Provide The Required Information

However you decide to place the alert, you’ll need to provide basic information. That includes:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Phone number
  • Address

You will also need to provide proof of identity via one of the following:

  • Social Security card
  • Paystub with your Social Security number
  • W2 or 1099

And you'll also need proof of your address via one of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Rental agreement or home deed
  • Paystub with address
  • Utility (e.g., gas, electric) or phone bill

If you’re placing a fraud alert by mail, you’ll also need the following completed forms:

Step 3: The Equifax Fraud Alert Is In Effect

The fraud alert shows up on your report as soon as it’s placed or processed (if you placed it by phone or mail).

After placing a fraud report, Equifax will alert the other two credit bureaus—Experian and TransUnion—so all see the alert.

The lender will contact you if someone tries to get credit in your name—whether you or someone else. Once connected, you can confirm whether or not you made the request.

Fraud alerts last for:

  • 1 year (initial fraud alerts and active duty alerts)
  • 7 years (extended fraud alerts)

Remove an Equifax Fraud Alert

Removing an Equifax fraud alert can be done:

  • By calling Equifax at 888-836-6351
  • By sending your request by mail (see address above)
  • Online

You will need to verify your identity to remove or manage your fraud alert. Unlike placing an alert, if you remove it, you have to notify the other credit bureaus. It will not be done automatically.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a fraud alert last?

An initial fraud alert lasts for one year. You can then renew it after a year is up or let the alert lapse.

An extended fraud alert lasts for as long as seven years unless you remove it sooner. An extended alert is only available to those who have had their identity stolen and have a police report or FTC theft report. You can choose to renew it after seven years.

You can also place an active duty fraud alert. This applies to military members on active duty. This lasts for one year. After a year, it can be renewed for the length of deployment.

What’s the difference between a credit freeze and fraud alert?

Though a fraud alert and credit freeze both try to prevent identity theft and fraud, they are two different protections.

Fraud alerts require lenders and creditors to verify your identity before opening a new line of credit in your name, while a credit freeze means no one can access your credit reports until the freeze is lifted.

Both are free. A fraud alert expires automatically unless you choose to renew it, while a credit freeze lasts until you remove it.

A credit freeze provides more protection since lenders can’t access your report unless you authorize it. Should you wish to open a new account, you can unfreeze your credit. Doing so only takes a few minutes, as long as you have your credit bureau password. A credit freeze gives you ultimate control over who can see your credit.

How do I remove a fraud alert from Equifax?

You can remove a fraud alert by contacting Equifax by mail or by phone or by logging into your account.

What is an Equifax fraud alert?

An Equifax fraud alert is a notice on your credit report that tells anyone who might lend you credit—such as credit card companies—that you may have been the victim of fraud. It requires companies to go an extra step to confirm your identity before extending credit, making it more difficult for potential scammers.

What does a fraud alert on Equifax do?

A fraud alert on Equifax serves as a sort of warning to potential creditors. It does not harm your credit. Rather, it’s a protective measure against potential fraud. It means that lenders should take extra steps to ensure that you are who you say you are.

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