\"Did you buy a Pioneer MP3 player from us?\"

I happened to mention my problems to my boss when I talked to him later on, and he suggested I call the credit bureaus to have a fraud alert put on my records. That’s not something I would have thought of, so I’m glad he suggested it. The process might be easier during the business day when there are people available to help, but it works at night, too — differently at each of the credit bureaus.

  • Experian pointed to their “Fraud Center” right from their home page and let me add the fraud alert online. Quick and easy.
  • Equifax buried the information on how to add a fraud alert deep in the site (they are really interested in selling you your credit report, though!); I couldn’t do it online, but their toll-free number (800-525-6285) was fairly easy to deal with.
  • Trans Union had an easy link to tips to protect yourself from credit fraud right on their home page, but it wasn’t quite so easy to figure out how to get a fraud alert added (the answer: call 800-680-7289). Their automated system was a lot more painful to use than Equifax’s, but I think I got the job done.

So now I gotta find everyone who has my credit card on file and give them the new credit card number. If that’s the most trouble I have from this, I’ll be very happy. Not as happy as if I didn’t have to do it at all, but such is life.