Active Duty Alerts
Every single day, members of the armed forces risk their lives to protect our liberties and freedom. But they are not just risking their lives, they are the prime targets for identity theft.
The fact that the military personnel might be deployed for extended periods of time, allowing identity theft to go unnoticed for many months or maybe even years, makes them extremely attractive to identity thieves.
A lot of service men and women come home only to discover that their financial lives have been completely ruined.
If you are a member of the armed forces, you can add an “Active Duty Alert” to your credit file in order to prevent any potential fraud or identity theft.
An “Active Duty Alert” simply notifies any potential credit grantor of the fact that you are on Active Duty and that they should take appropriate steps to verify and protect your identity.
How to add an “Active Duty Alert” to your credit file
To add an “active duty” alert to your credit file, contact one of the Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA) fraud departments.
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian's National Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Attn: Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026
Things to know and consider
- An “Active Duty Alert” is very similar to an initial 90-day Fraud Alert, but instead of 90 days, it stays in your credit file for 12 months unless you cancel it sooner.
- It can be renewed after 12 months.
- You only have to contact one Consumer Reporting Agency.
- Your name is removed from pre-approved credit offers for 2 years.
- Although all potential credit grantors are supposed to take appropriate steps to verify your identity, they don’t always do so.
- You may designate a personal representative (a spouse, family member, friend or any other trusted individual) who can act on your behalf to verify your identity or remove an “active duty” alert. However, it is always risky to entrust someone with your personal information, especially knowing that a lot of identities stolen by victims’ friends or family members.
Although an “active duty” alert provides an additional layer of protection to your identity theft prevention strategy, consider utilizing a credit freeze instead.