Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Is a “security freeze” and a “fraud alert” the same thing?

No. A fraud alert is a special message on the report that a credit issuer receives when checking a consumer’s credit rating. It tells the credit issuer that there may be fraud involved in the account. A fraud alert can help protect you against identity theft. A fraud alert can also slow down your ability to get new credit. It should not stop you from using your existing credit cards or other accounts. A security freeze means that your credit file cannot be seen by potential creditors, or others accessing your credit, unless you give your consent. Most businesses will not open credit accounts without first checking a consumer’s credit history.