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Initial fraud alert

(also identity theft alert)

Initial fraud alert definition

An initial fraud alert can be described as a measure used to protect individual users from potential fraud and identity theft. When users suspect that their personal information can be stolen or compromised in any other way, they can place an initial fraud alert on their credit report. Alert immediately notifies potential creditors of occurring circumstances, and before any credit extension, users must verify their identity before any new credit account is approved. Regarding cybersecurity, initial fraud alerts add an extra layer of security against unauthorized access to users’ personal information or the creation of fake accounts. This helps ensure that cybercriminals can’t use stolen information to open new credit accounts, loans or buy online consumer goods using someone else’s credentials.

See also: data breach

Common initial fraud alert applications:

Financial institutions: Many credit card companies, banks, and financial institutions provide sophisticated mechanisms for customers to activate an initial fraud alert in emergencies.

Credit bureaus: Legitimate credit bureaus offer their customers an option to place an initial fraud alert on credit reports.

Online identity protection services: Numerous online services that specialize in monitoring and safeguarding individuals’ personal information can include an option to activate initial fraud alerts.

Cybersecurity apps: Many cybersecurity apps are equipped with secure browsing, password managers, and email encryptions to protect users’ online’ activities and personal information.

Governmental resources: Government agencies can offer tools to help individuals to protect themselves against threats like identity theft.