One way you can prevent identity theft and credit fraud is to check your credit report periodically.
By law, each of the major three credit report agencies must provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. These three agencies created AnnualCreditReport.com to centralize the process.
You can access your credit report in one of three ways:
- Online: The quickest way to access your free credit report go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com. You will access your credit report directly from the website.
- Telephone: Call 1-877-322-8228 and follow the instructions.
- Mail: Download the request form. Print it out and then fill it out. Mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Warning: According to the Louisiana Attorney General, only one website is authorized to fill orders for free credit reports: AnnualCreditReport.com. Other websites with similar sounding names, or slight mispellings, may have conditions attached to accessing the credit reports. Some may try to charge you, while others might be more malicious attempts to steal your personal information. Also, never respond to an email claiming to be from AnnualCreditReport.com because it will never email you to ask for personal information.
Helpful hint: You can decide whether to get credit reports from all three credit agencies at the same time, or from one every four months. If you get them at the same time, you can compare the three, because different creditors report to different agencies. But then you must wait 12 months before accessing the reports again. If you space out the reports and get one from just one of the three agencies, then you can get one every four months.
If you would like to opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers, as well as insurance offers, you may go to OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
For additional credit services, such as placing a fraud alert on your credit report you may contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies directly: