The FACT Act: Your Protection Against Identity Theft
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the law that regulates credit reporting agencies). It is an important tool in the fight against identity theft.
Key consumer-related facts on identity theft about the FACT Act
- Consumers may receive a free copy of their credit report once a year
- Consumers may receive additional free reports if identity theft is suspected
- Identity theft victims only have to make one call to receive advice, set off a nationwide fraud alert, and protect their credit rating
- Identity theft victims who file police reports can block fraudulent information from appearing on their credit reports
- Identity theft victims have access to business records that list an identity thief’s fraudulent transactions
- Credit reporting agencies must ensure that all credit requests are legitimate after a credit report has been flagged for suspected identity theft
- Active duty military personnel may place special alerts on their files when they are deployed overseas
- Only the last five credit card number digits can be listed on store receipts
- Lenders and credit agencies must take action even before an identity theft victim is aware of the crime
- Debt collectors must inform a creditor of fraudulent information
Obtaining your report
The three credit bureaus have established one central website, telephone number, and mailing address to use for ordering your report. The credit bureaus will only provide the free annual reports through this central location, not through their individual websites, telephone numbers, or addresses. If you request the report on-line, you should be able to view it immediately. Requests via telephone or mail will take approximately 15 days for processing.
Mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Revised January 2016.