If you’re a member of the military and deployed from your usual duty station, you may place an “active-duty alert” on your credit report to help minimize the risk of identity theft while you’re away.
Your credit report contains information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses use the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit and for many other purposes.
Identity thieves may use your personal information to open new accounts in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent accounts are reported on your credit report. Inaccurate or fraudulent information could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or housing, now or in the future.
But if you place an active-duty alert on your report, businesses must verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. This makes it harder for identity thieves to use your information to apply for credit. Active-duty alerts on your report last for one year, unless you request that the alert be removed sooner. If your deployment lasts longer, you may place another alert on your report.
Get more details about active-duty alerts, including how to place one on your credit report at ftc.gov/idtheft/military.