Financial Education



Equifax Credit Watch

Now there's a simple, automated way to help detect and protect against the impact of identity theft
Regularly checking your credit report for changes you did not make is one of the best ways to combat identity theft. Equifax Credit Watch makes monitoring your report easy by automatically alerting you within 24 hours of key changes in your Equifax Credit Report – like when someone tries to get credit in your name – so you can act before serious damage is done. And with credit card fraud being the most common type of identity theft, Equifax Credit Watch can now alert you to sudden changes in your credit card balances. Your service also includes your Equifax Credit Report, identity theft insurance(certain limitations and exclusions apply) and access to live customer support.

How Identity Theft Hurts You

According to the FBI, identity theft is one of the fastest-growing U.S. crimes. Studies show that about one in five families has been a victim.

Identity theft can occur in a variety of ways. Thieves can steal your Social Security or credit card numbers, then change the address on your bills. They then use your information to impersonate you, buying or renting products or using your personal information to commit criminal acts.

Most damaging of all, you often don't know you're a victim of this federal crime until months later, when you are unexpectedly turned down for a loan or get a call from a collection agency about an account you never opened. You might even get a call from the police about a crime you didn't commit.

And once identity theft happens to you, it can take many months and thousands of dollars to restore your credit.

Isn't it time to take steps to protect yourself against this devastating crime?

How Do Identity Thieves Do It?

First, they steal your personal information by...

  • Going through your mail or trash, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and tax information.
  • Stealing personal information from your wallet or purse such as identification, credit, or bank cards.
  • Completing change-of-address forms to redirect your mail.
  • Acquiring personal information you share on unsecured sites on the Internet.
  • Buying personal information about you from an inside source -- for example, a store employee that gets your information from a credit application or by "skimming" your credit card information when you make a purchase.
  • Getting your personnel records at work.

Then they use your personal information by...

  • Opening new credit card accounts using your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. When they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquency maybe reported on your credit report.
  • Establishing phone or cellular service in your name.
  • Opening a bank account in your name and writing bad checks on the account.
  • Counterfeiting checks or debit cards, and draining your bank account.
  • Buying cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
  • Calling your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, changing the address on the account. Bills get sent to the new address, so you may not realize there's a problem until you check your credit report.
  • Filing for bankruptcy using your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name.

Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have taken the right steps to protect your identity.

Products to help you monitor your credit:

  • Monitor all 3 Credit Reports
  • Monitor your Credit Score