Discover Card: Free Social Security Number Monitoring and New Account Alerts

disc_ssnDiscover has a new free alert service available to Discover cardholders on an opt-in basis. I must have missed the initial announcement. This is not complete identity protection (which usually costs a monthly fee of $10 or more) but the following subset:

  • Social Security Number Monitoring. Discover scans the internet including the “dark web” where stolen SSNs are often traded and sold for the purposes of identity theft and fraud. If your SSN is found, you will receive an alert.
  • New Account Alerts. Whenever a new account (credit cards, mortgages, car loans or other credit accounts) is reported on your Experian credit report, you will receive a notification. If you don’t recognize the new account, that can be an indication of identity theft.

You must authorize Discover to access your credit report, but since they are doing so on your behalf, this will not affect your credit score in any way. Opt-in and activate these alerts here. You can choose e-mail and/or text alerts. Deactivate here.

Bottom line. If you are a Discover cardholder, this is a free service that alerts you to new accounts and thus potential identity theft. I keep my Discover it card open for its rotating 5% cash back rewards.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Jonathan. I currently have my credit frozen as a preemptive safety measure, thanks to the recommendations of security journalist Brian Krebs as well as many posters on bogleheads.org. I wonder if my credit being frozen will affect Discover’s ability to provide me with this feature. Hopefully, I won’t have to pay the $10 to temporarily unfreeze to activate it or anything like that.

    • Well, I just got the chance to test it out, and it allowed me to enroll. So, it looks like my frozen credit didn’t affect signing up for this feature after all.

    • I don’t think the SSN monitoring depends on your credit report availability. And with a credit freeze it should be hard for anyone to open a new account without you knowing anyway, I would think. Does a credit freeze affect any of the other “free credit score” websites that basically check your credit on your behalf? My understanding is no?

  2. What action do you take if your Social Security number shows up as a result of monitoring?

    • You could choose to freeze your credit reports, which would require special authorization every time someone would want to check your credit report to open a new account (or you can unfreeze for a set date range). There are fees involved that vary by state.

      • Thanks. I was wondering because my frozen credit report made the free identity monitoring services offered after the OMB hack not work properly for me. But things like Credit Karma work fine. I’m guessing maybe Discover can pull it off because they’re my credit card.

  3. Would you know if there is a way to monitor my kids’ social security numbers?

  4. This plus the free $10 every month in Kohl’s cash is just another benefit of discover! Keeping my kids clothed with the free $10 Kohl’s give me!

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