There are two different types of fraud alert, these being an initial alert and an extended one.
An initial fraud alert is the one you place on your credit report when you first suspect that you have become, or are about to become, a victim of identity theft.
For instance, you believe you’ve been duped into entering your details on a pharming website or you’ve had your purse stolen.
An initial fraud alert is applied to your credit report for around ninety days.
Conversely, an extended alert will remain on your credit report for 7 years.
One of these can be applied for if you have actually been a victim of identity theft and can give evidence of such to the credit reference agency.
An extended fraud alert allows you to apply for two free credit reports per year.
Ironically, you will be required to provide concrete proof of your identity to do so.
If a potential lender sees an alert on your credit report then they are obliged to confirm your identity before they are allowed to approve any credit.