In my last blog, I mentioned the potential demise of the current paid fraud alert system, courtesy of a U.S. District Court ruling prohibiting commercial entities from placing fraud alerts on credit reports for paying customers. As we’ve reported, consumers can place those alerts themselves for free, though those alerts aren’t always enough to stop fraud.
Debix is one such company that’s agreed to stop placing such fraud alerts. But in its place, the company has come up with a better mousetrap, for a fee, that may well be worth the money.
Debix’s current system relies on fraud alerts as a “trigger.” When a prospective lender sees the fraud alert, the lender is supposed to call you through the Debix phone system, which gives you an authorization signal (so you know the call is legitimate), and informs you that someone is applying for a loan in your name. The lender then asks you to push the appropriate button on your phone to indicate whether the loan application is legitimate. If it’s not, a Debix investigator gets on the phone, conferences in the lender, and gathers information about the fraudulent application, including names, addresses, and description of the crook applying for the loan.
Debix says this system has prevented more than 2,900 thefts since July, 2007. In the past, we approved of the Debix system for those consumers who wanted to pay for such a service.
IDSecure, which charges $12.99 a month (the first month is $1) for fraud protection services beyond just fraud alerts, now provides a link for its customers that allows them to file fraud alerts themselves directly with credit bureaus.
Of course, you can file free fraud alerts yourself online directly with the credit bureaus.
•Experian: Click here.
•Equifax: Click here.
•TransUnion: By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; By Phone: 800-680-7289; By Mail: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834