After all that holiday spending, have you been diligent about following up and checking your credit cards to make sure you didn’t get any unwanted holiday cheer for fraudsters and identity thieves? There are ways to protect your
credit score from holiday heartburn that you can use to help yourself stay safe. The Equifax Finance Blog explores them in its series, “
Fraud Alert Versus Security Freeze,” and it’s a good idea to know how they both work.
When your credit is damaged by fraudulent activities, it takes time to repair and heal itself through regular borrowing and timely repayments. That being said, fraud alerts and security freezes tell others that you have either been a victim or are proactive about only allowing your credit to be shared with your approval. Security freezes work like a bouncer to keep others from accessing your credit or opening new accounts in your name without your direct approval.
Fraud alerts, on the other hand, work like red flags on your account. Third parties can see your credit as usual, but when they come across these red flags, they have to contact you when they come across activity which may be suspicious. There are three kinds of fraud alerts, and they have varying durations: the initial fraud alert lasts for 90 says, an active duty fraud alert lasts for a year and an extended fraud alert lasts for seven years. When a fraud alert is placed on your account, you also are entitled to a free
Be sure to check out the
Equifax Finance Blog for more information about protective measures for your credit, as well as great information on taxes, insurance, retirement planning and real estate.