Discover Card Help Center

Social Security Number and New Account Alerts

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  • What are the Social Security Number alerts and the new account alerts now offered by Discover?

    We are offering a free new monitoring service for Primary credit cardmembers that looks out for potential fraud threats beyond cardmembers’ Discover card accounts. Once you sign up for the service we will send you alerts via email (and text message if you prefer).
    To be more specific, we provide two different kinds of alerts:
    1) We’ll notify you if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites that we are monitoring.
    2) We’ll monitor your Experian® credit report every day and notify you when new credit cards, mortgages, car loans or other credit accounts open in your name—even if they’re not Discover accounts.

  • How do these new alerts actually work?

    We monitor a vast number of risky websites on the dark web — a hidden area of the Internet where stolen social security numbers can be traded or sold for the purposes of identity theft and fraud. This process is also called internet scanning or internet surveillance. If we find your information, we’ll send you an alert and help you take action.

    We also monitor your Experian credit report and notify you whenever any new credit account is reported to your Experian credit file, even if it’s not a Discover account. In most cases, you will probably recognize it as an account you opened. However, if you don’t recognize the account, we’ll let you know what steps you need to take to close the account, inform the credit bureaus and reduce your risk of future fraudulent activity.

  • Will daily credit monitoring negatively impact my credit report or credit score?

    No, the Social Security Number and new account alerts will never negatively impact your credit report or your credit score.
  • What is a risky website, and how does it relate to identity theft?

    Stolen personal information may be sold on risky websites located on a hidden part of the Internet (sometimes referred to as the “dark web”). The “dark web” is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. This hidden part of the web provides anonymity for the network of websites hosted there, and for the people browsing them. These risky websites are typically used to provide contraband for sale and access to taboo information. Illegal weapons, drugs, and stolen payment card information are a few examples of the material that can be found for sale.
  • How do the new alerts differ from the existing Fraud alerts?

    Your fraud alerts (such as suspicious activity alerts and account log in alerts) keep you in the know about activity on your Discover Card account. Discover’s Social Security Number and new account alerts differ in that they keep you informed of new accounts opened on your Experian credit report or if your Social Security Number is found on a risky website that may signal an increased exposure to identity theft.
  • Are the new alerts protecting me from identity theft?

    No, this monitoring service cannot prevent identity theft. However, it’s a tool that can alert you to activity that may indicate identity theft is being attempted or has taken place.
  • What is identity theft?

    Identity theft is when someone steals your information, like your social security number, to assume your identity for the purpose of, among other things, infiltrating your existing accounts, opening new accounts, signing up for services, or taking out loans in your name.
  • How can identity thieves get my information?

    There are numerous ways that thieves can obtain your personal information. Some examples include:

    • Stealing physical items such as mail, wallet/purse, smart phone, trash, etc.
    • Stealing information from a company’s computer system or from your computer if it is tainted with malware.
    • Gathering data from social networks and other websites that contain your personal information.
    • Phishing schemes, such as emails or phone calls, designed to get you to reveal personal information.
  • How can I protect myself against identity theft?

    The easiest way to protect yourself from identity theft is by protecting your personal information. We suggest that you always do the following:

    • Shred any documents with account and other identifying numbers.
    • Check your personal credit report at least annually - quarterly recommended.
    • Change your email and other passwords regularly.
    • Think twice before sharing personal information with store clerks and telemarketers.
    • Stop paper statements. Get your statements online.
    • Enroll in email alerts to monitor your account activity.
    • Sign up for Social Security Number and new account alerts to be notified when new accounts are reported in your name.
  • How do I sign up for these new alerts?

    The new Social Security Number and new account alerts are free and must be activated online. Once you give us permission and verify your email address, we will begin to monitor your Social Security Number and Experian credit report. Activate Now.
  • How do I stop receiving these new alerts?

    You can switch the Social Security Number and new account alerts on and off anytime you like. If you don't want to receive alerts at this time you can Deactivate Now.

  • How can I receive text message alerts?

    If you want to receive text message alerts for Social Security number and new account alerts you can Activate Now.

    Once you have successfully enrolled in text alerts you will receive a text message asking to confirm your enrollment in text alerts. You must reply “Y” in order to complete your text message alert enrollment.
  • How do I stop receiving text message alerts?

    If you want to opt-out of receiving text message alerts for Social Security number and new account alerts you can Deactivate Now.

  • Where can I find the terms and conditions for the new alerts?

    Review the terms and conditions for the Social Security Number and new account alerts here.
  • When will the monitoring begin?

    As soon as we have your permission, we will begin the process to find your Experian credit file and start monitoring your Experian credit report for new accounts. This process can take 1-2 days. We then monitor your credit file on a go forward basis. We will alert you of any new accounts as soon as they post to your Experian credit file.

    For your Social Security Number, we will begin monitoring risky websites on the dark web immediately following the receipt of your permission.
  • How do I receive my alerts?

    When a new account is reported on your Experian credit report or your Social Security Number is found on a risky website, we will send you an alert via email. You can also opt in to receive your alerts via text message as well. Additionally, these alerts will be available through your Account Center.
  • Will I be billed for receiving these new alerts?

    No, the Social Security Number and new account alerts are completely free.
  • Do I have to have a Discover Card to have these alerts?

    Yes, the service is available for all Primary credit card account members.
  • If I have more than one Discover Card do I need to opt in on more than one account?

    No. We monitor your credit file and provide you alerts to the email address we have associated with your Discover Card account.
  • Is my spouse or the joint/secondary cardholder or authorized buyer covered under the new monitoring service?

    No, only the Primary credit card member is eligible to receive the Social Security Number and new account alerts. If your spouse or joint/secondary cardholder has his or her own Discover Card account, where he or she is the Primary cardmember, he or she can enroll for these alerts on their account.
  • Why are my new alerts not available?

    We are monitoring your Social Security Number as we have it on file. Your Social Security Number and new account alerts might not be available because:

    • You’ve opted out.
    • Key information is mismatched or missing (for example, an address change that has not been updated with Discover or Experian).
    • Your credit history is too new.
    • Your Discover Card account status is abandoned, bankrupt, fraud, lost or stolen, closed, revoked, or charged off.
    • You have a foreign address.
    • You have a credit freeze placed on your credit report.
  • Why is Discover offering these new alerts?

    We know that identity fraud is a concern for people everywhere, including our cardmembers, which is why we’ve decided to expand your monitoring features beyond just your Discover card account.
  • What happens if I don't have a credit file?

    After you opt in to receive the new alerts, if we are unable to find your credit file at Experian, we will let you know via email.
  • What are the reasons I would not have a credit file?

    Some reasons would include:
    • You may be new to credit or have a thin credit file.
    • Key information is mismatched or missing (for example, an address change that has not been updated with Discover or Experian).
    • You may have no credit history.
  • Where can I find out more about my credit?

    Its good practice to review your credit report from the three national credit bureaus—TransUnion, Equifax and Experian—at least once a year and especially before making a large purchase, such as a house or car.

    Federal law allows you to get a free credit report annually from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, and has set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual credit report(s):
    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA

Security & Fraud

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