Fraud alerts on Equifax act as "red flags" on an account and require creditors to take additional steps to verify the legitimacy of each new request for credit. Any individual who believes he has been a victim of fraud or could be a victim should place a fraud alert on his credit file. Depending on the type of alert -- Equifax offers three methods -- it can be added online, over the telephone or through the mail.
Equifax's initial and active duty alerts are completed online or over the phone by calling 888-766-0008, while the extended alert requires a mail-in form. An initial fraud alert is effective for 90 days. An active duty fraud alert, reserved for active military personnel, is good for a year. Extended fraud alerts are effective for seven years and require creditors to contact you directly by telephone to verify new credit requests. You must complete an Extended Fraud Alert Request Form, and include a copy of a valid police report, law enforcement report or U.S. Postal Service report. The method depends on the type of fraud committed against you. As of 2014, the completed form and supporting documents can be faxed to 888-826-0597 or mailed to Equifax Information Services, LLC, PO Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069 (as of 2014).