Each of the three major credit bureaus maintains a fraud department. A consumer who is the victim of identity theft should contact the fraud department of one of the credit bureaus and ask that the company place a fraud alert on the consumer’s account. Once a consumer has contacted one of these bureaus, this bureau is required to contact the other two.
This fraud alert indicates to a creditor that the creditor must contact the consumer before opening a new account or changing an existing account. If the consumer requests, the credit bureaus may only display the last four digits of the consumer’s social security number on the credit reports.