Since the Equifax data breach increased the threat of identity theft for over 145 million Americans, Discover’s new Social Security Alert feature may become popular with New York consumers. With this feature, the popular credit card company offers security monitoring that extends far beyond a customer’s credit card account. When customers sign up for Social Security Alert, Discover alerts them when their Social Security number shows up on the Dark Web. The credit card issuer also monitors Experian credit reports and tells consumers when new accounts appear. Because this service is free, it is a nice perk for Discover credit card holders. However, it may not do a great deal when it comes to actually protecting New York consumers against identity theft.
Why New York Consumers Should be Concerned about Stolen Social Security Numbers
The major reason that the Equifax data breach is so worrisome is that Social Security numbers were stolen in the massive hack. With Social Security numbers, identity thieves can do a lot of damage. First, they can apply for loans and open credit card accounts in the names of New York consumers. These accounts, of course, go unpaid. Then, scammers leave identity theft victims with tarnished credit reports and decreased credit scores. Unfortunately, though, opening fraudulent financial accounts is just one of several things scammers do with stolen Social Security numbers. Identity thieves also:
- Seek and obtain medical care with assumed identities. This causes victims of identity theft to rack up bogus medical bills. It can also wreak havoc with their medical records.
- File for fraudulent tax refunds. It is a very bad experience when New York consumers file their tax returns, anticipating a refund, only to learn that someone else has already filed in their name.
- Engage in illegal activities. If a fraudster gives law enforcement officials your Social Security number after committing a crime, you could end up getting falsely arrested.
- Steal benefits from rightful New York recipients. Believe it or not, a scammer can claim your unemployment or Social Security benefits. They only need your name, birthdate, and Social Security number.
It is no wonder that New York consumers are panicked about the Equifax hack and the millions of stolen Social Security numbers. There is a great cause for concern right now, as well as very good reasons to take as many security measures as possible to guard yourself against identity theft.
How New York Consumers with Stolen Social Security Numbers Can Protect Themselves Against Identity Theft
Certainly, the new Social Security Alert feature from Discover is a good feature for Discover credit card holders in New York. It is also likely that, in the wake of the Equifax data breach, more credit card issuers will offer their own security features to customers. Of course, this type of preventive measure isn’t all-encompassing. Meaning, in order to fully protect themselves, consumers should take additional measures because:
- The Social Security Alert informs customers if Discover finds their Social Security number on the Dark Web. Yet, the service doesn’t tell them what to do about it.
- Discover monitors Experian credit reports for their credit card holders, but credit reports from the other two major credit bureaus need attention too.
In order to keep up with all of your credit report information, you must keep tabs on three different credit reports. These are from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Luckily, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles New York consumers to one free credit report from each credit bureau every 12 months. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com to request all three.
Then, if you find fraudulent accounts or bogus transactions, file a police report. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in New York. Once you do, an experienced credit attorney will handle the entire credit report recovery process for you – for free. Sadly, creditors and the credit reporting agencies are notorious for slowing down credit recovery after identity theft. Luckily, though, our team of credit pros knows how to deal with these organizations. We will get you clean credit reports fast, and charge you nothing out of pocket.
The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit in New York
Don’t let identity theft damage or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Carl Schwartz at (646) 859-3045 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, check out https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/fixing-identity-theft/.