Discover Card Help Center

Social Security Number and New Account Alerts

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What are the SSN & the New Account Alerts offered by Discover?

We are offering a free monitoring service for Primary credit cardmembers that helps them look out for potential fraud threats beyond their Discover card accounts. Once you sign up for the service we will send you alerts via email (and text message if you prefer).
The service consists of two different types of alerts:

  1. We'll notify you if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites 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 are listed in your name—even if they’re not Discover accounts.

How do these SSN & New Account Alerts actually work?

We monitor thousands of sites 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 Social Security number, 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.

How do I sign up for these alerts?

The SSN & 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.

When will the monitoring begin?

We will start monitoring 1-2 days after you sign up for alerts. If we are unable to enroll you in alerts for any reason, we will let you know.

How do I stop receiving these new alerts?

You can switch the SSN & 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 SSN &  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 alerts?

Review the terms and conditions for the SSN & New Account Alerts herefor identity Alerts Terms and Condition.

Will I be billed for receiving these new alerts?

No, the SSN & 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 a new account was opened, when and how will I receive my alert?

There is no requirement for creditors to report new accounts to Experian within a given time period, so it could take several weeks before the opened account appears on your Experian credit report. We monitor your report at Experian every day to alert you once the account appears on your credit report. Additionally, not all companies report to all 3 major credit bureaus.

When a new account is reported on your Experian credit report or your Social Security number is found on a Dark Web site that we monitor, we will send you an alert via email (and text message if you have opted-in).

How do the alerts differ from the existing Fraud alerts on my Discover account?

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 SSN & New Account Alerts differ in that they keep you informed of any new accounts opened on your Experian credit report or if your Social Security number is found on one of the thousands of Dark Web sites that we monitor, which may signal an increased exposure to identity theft.

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 SSN & New Account Alerts. If your spouse or joint/secondary cardholder is the Primary cardmember of their own Discover Card account, he or she can enroll for these alerts on their account.

Why are my new alerts not available?

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.
  • You opened your Discover Card account within the last 7 months
  • Your Discover Card account status is not in good standing.
  • You have a foreign address.
  • You have a credit freeze placed on your credit report.

What is a Dark Web site, and how does it relate to identity theft?

Stolen personal information may be sold on 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 portion of the World Wide Web and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. These websites are typically used to provide anonymity for criminals and dissidents, contraband for sale, and access to taboo information.

What is identity theft and how can I protect myself?

Identity theft is when someone steals your information, like your Social Security number, to assume your identity for the purposes of opening new accounts, signing up for services, or taking out loans in your name.

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
  • Change your email and other passwords regularly.
  • Think twice before sharing personal information with store clerks and telemarketers.
  • Stop paper statements. Get your statements onlineto 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 your Social Security number is found on one of thousands of Dark Web sites and when new accounts are reported in your name to Experian.

What should I consider after a data breach?

Be sure to visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company. And of course, closely monitor all your accounts for fraud. Your Discover card has a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee, so you're never held responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card account. We monitor every purchase, every day and alert you of any suspicious transactions by email, text or phone call. If you become the victim of identity theft, consult helpful resources like www.identitytheft.gov.

What does Discover offer that could be helpful if I'm concerned about a data breach?

See how the free alerts from Discover could help you protect your identity if you're the victim of a data breach, or if you're simply concerned about one.

  • Activate your free alerts from Discover at www.discover.com/freealerts if you haven't already. We'll alert you if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. And we'll alert you when new car loans, mortgages, credit cards or other accounts show up on your Experian® credit report.
  • The free alerts from Discover are backed by 100% U.S.-based fraud resolution experts who can even help you place a fraud alert on your credit files with all three major credit bureaus.

Why didn't I get an alert if I was affected by a data breach?

Be sure to activate your free alerts from Discover at www.discover.com/freealerts if you haven't already.

You'll get a free alert when we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Not all stolen information from a data breach ends up on these Dark Web sites. If they do, you'll receive an alert.

You’ll also get a free alert when there are new car loans, mortgages, credit cards or other accounts on your Experian® credit report. Keep in mind that it takes time, sometimes several weeks, for a lender to report a new account to Experian. When they do, you’ll receive an alert.

What happens if I don't have a credit file?

We are offering a free monitoring service for Primary credit cardmembers that helps them look out for potential fraud threats beyond their Discover card accounts. Once you sign up for the service we will send you alerts via email (and text message if you prefer).
The service consists of two different types of alerts:

  1. We'll notify you if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites 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 are listed in your name—even if they’re not Discover accounts.

Security & Fraud

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