Proactive Monitoring Services: On the Lookout For Identity Issues
Savvy criminals can use a victim's personal information to hijack entire credit report and security protections. This means they can control all of a victim's accounts, open new accounts and remove any credit alerts or freezes warning creditors that an individual may be a victim of identity theft. Criminals can even pretend to be you when they commit crimes.
- Check your credit reports as frequently as possible, at least twice a year. Ask for a 3-in-1, merged credit report with a summary from all three credit bureaus. Under the federal FACT Act, consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the major agencies. For details, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
- Enroll for credit monitoring to regularly monitor credit activity in your files.
- Enroll in fraud monitoring. This goes far beyond credit monitoring alone. Fraud monitoring can watch for signs of identity theft and fraud in public records, internet chat rooms, criminal records, and more, to alert you of attempts to alter or acquire your identity data.
*For Active Duty Military Members
Military personnel in all branches of the armed forces—and their families—are prime targets for identity theft because of long deployments and frequent relocations. Plus, the military has used personally identifying information, such as the last four digits of Social Security numbers, for identification purposes, increasing exposure risks.
Service members should take additional steps to the ones mentioned above, including:
- Adding/Remove an "active-duty" alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three credit reporting companies to add/remove an active-duty alert from your credit cards. If you discover suspicious activity, replace the active-duty alert with a 90-day fraud alert, a seven-year fraud alert, or a security freeze.
- Terminate Power of Attorneys. Take over control of your financial affairs as soon as possible, and revoke any Power of Attorney documents.
- Know your rights. Check your Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) rights if you encounter any difficulties surrounding housing, interest rates, judgments, etc.
If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft or wish to proactively manage your identity, contact your Armed Forces Insurance agent at 800-255-6792 to learn about CyberScout™ services.