Get the answers to our most frequently asked questions
Is DefendMyID an annual or monthly subscription?
DefendMyID only offers an annual subscription.
Monthly subscriptions are less money today but cost more in the long run. Additionally, monthly paid for services market you non stop because they dont want you to cancel. We don't want to bug you, nor do we want your service to cancel due to a credit card number changing. Just pay/renew one time per year and know you are being looked out for.
What is Credit Fraud?
According to credit fraud statistics, credit fraud and identity theft are a small part of overall credit card spending in the United States. Losses due to default far exceed those caused by fraud. However, if credit fraud or identity theft happens to you, it can be overwhelming. Victims may be protected financially, but they are forced to experience major inconvenience. Ultimately, we all pay for credit card fraud in terms of higher prices, higher interest rates and extra inconvenience.
Types of Credit Fraud
Credit fraud is a broad term for the use of a credit card (or any comparable type of credit) to buy goods or services with the intention of evading payment. Credit fraud includes:
Identity theft: the unauthorized use of personal identification information to commit credit fraud or other crimes. Identity assumption: long-term victimization of identification information. Fraud spree: unauthorized charges on existing accountsSources of Credit Fraud
Just as there are various types of credit fraud, there also are different ways that credit thieves gather your personal information:
Using lost or stolen credit cardsStealing from your mailboxLooking over your shoulder during transactionsGoing through your trashSending unsolicited emailMaking false telephone solicitationsLooking at personnel recordsDiscovering Fraud
There are several warning signs that credit fraud may be occurring:
Your credit report contains inquiries or information about accounts that you did not openStrange charges show up on billing statementsBills arrive from unknown or unfamiliar sourcesYou receive calls from creditors or collection agenciesMore Resources for Responding to Different Types of Fraud Driver’s license number fraud: Notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Social Security number used to commit identity theft: Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338 Passport used in identity theft: Contact the U.S. State Department, Passport Services Department Mail fraud: Visit the U.S. Postal Service® Website, Government Services
Do You Have to Place a Fraud Alert with each Credit Reporting Company?
No, you do not need to request another fraud alert with Experian.
How Requesting a Fraud Alert Works
When you request a fraud alert or security alert be added with any of the three major credit reporting companies, the company you contacted will notify the other two and alerts will be added with those agencies as well.You should receive confirmation from each company that the alert has been added. If not, you can contact each agency individually to confirm that the alert is on file their files.
An initial security alert will remain on your report for 90 days. You can request a free copy of your report when you add the alert so that you can review it carefully and determine whether there are any signs of identity theft. Keep in mind that each credit reporting agency may have slightly different information, so you will want to review all three credit reports.
Additional Things to Know About Fraud Alerts
Along with adding the initial alert, Experian will automatically opt you out of receiving pre-approved offers for six months. Should you ever need to request an initial alert in the future, you can always add it directly by visiting DefendMyID's fraud center in your portal. Be sure to contact your local police department to file an identity theft report and then contact Experian if you suspect there are fraud-related items on your report. Once you’ve filed a police report you can request a seven-year victim statement be added. It will include two telephone numbers that you provide so lenders can contact you before granting credit in your name.
Why is DefendMyID less expensive than everyone else?
Easy... we are not greedy. As you have probably read on the site... DefendMyID is powered by Experian. We have 10's of thousands of subscribers and get really good pricing. Our motto is "make a little off a lot" ... the other guys is "make a lot on everyone".
What is a fraud victim statement, how do I file one and what will happen when I do?
What is an extended fraud victim statement, and how can it help to prevent further fraudulent activity?
If you find evidence of fraud on your credit report, you may want to add a seven-year victim statement to your credit report that asks potential credit grantors to call you before granting credit in your name. If you did not apply for credit, you can instruct the creditor not to process the application. This should prevent a new account from being established using your identification information. The victim statement has a section for two phone numbers to display.
How can I request that an extended fraud victim statement be added to my credit report?
A written request from you that includes your full name, current mailing address, Social Security number, date of birth and any previous addresses used in the last two years. Please remember to state the phone number(s) you would like added to the victim statement. Two proofs of your address, one must be government issued, such as a copy of your driver’s license, state or military ID card, etc., and one copy of a utility bill, an insurance statement, bank statement, etc.
What happens if I elect to place an extended fraud victim statement on my credit report, but I change my phone number?
You can have the phone number changed on your extended fraud victim statement if you mail a written request to Experian, PO Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013. The request must include your full name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and any previous addresses used in the last two years. Remember to specifically state the new phone number you would like added and the number to be deleted. In addition, include two proofs of your address, one must be government issued, such as a copy of your driver’s license, state or military ID card., etc., and one copy of a utility bill, an insurance statement, bank statement, etc.
What steps can I take to protect against fraud?
What about the legitimate accounts that I already have established? Should I take precautions to protect those accounts?
If the criminal has your identification information and is attempting to obtain credit, you may want to contact your existing creditors to inform them of the situation. You can request that the creditors do not change your mailing address or mail out a replacement card unless they receive a written consent from you first. Be sure to ask creditors if additional precautions are available for your use.
How can I prevent anyone from viewing my credit information?
How can I prevent anyone from viewing my credit information?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows access to your credit report to those with “permissible purpose”, such as someone who intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the extension of credit or the review or collection of an account; for employment purposes; in connection with the underwriting of insurance; to determine eligibility for a license; or for legitimate business needs. Your consent is not required. Most states have passed laws that allow consumers in their states to request that a security freeze be placed on their credit reports with the national credit reporting companies.
How do I place a security freeze on my credit report?
For state-specific procedures for placing a security freeze on your credit report, click here
How can I recognize fraud on my credit report?
In most cases, fraudulent activity can be detected by reviewing the accounts, inquiries and addresses that appear on a credit report. Review your report carefully for the following items:
Accounts: If you do not recognize an account and the account is newly opened, that may indicate that a criminal has obtained a line of credit using your identity.
Inquiries: Review all the inquiries on your credit report in the section titled “Requests viewed by others”. This section contains inquiries from creditors that have accessed your credit report to process an application. If you do not recognize the credit grantor accessing your report, that may indicate fraudulent activity.
Addresses: Review the addresses appearing on your credit report. If you discover an address that you have not lived at, it may indicate that the address was used on a fraudulent application for credit.
What should I do when I find an account, an inquiry or other data that resulted from fraudulent activity?
The most important task is to notify the creditor reporting the fraudulent data. Simply call or write to the creditor and identify yourself as a fraud victim who would like to file a fraud claim. Each creditor has a process for investigating your claim. Cooperate completely with the requests of the credit grantor so you can ensure that you are not held responsible for payment on the account. In addition, you may contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the fraudulent data.
What do I do if I am a victim of fraud?
As a fraud victim, do I have to pay for a credit report?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that a consumer who has reason to believe that information in his or her report is inaccurate due to fraud is entitled to a free copy of his or her credit report. Visit our Credit Fraud Center to add a security alert and immediately view your report for any potential fraudulent activity. You also may call 1 888 EXPERIAN (1 888 397 3742) to add a security alert and for information on how to order a copy of your report delivered by U.S. mail.
Should I file a police report?
In general, when a crime has been committed, it is a good idea to file a police report. If you would like to file a police report, we recommend that you call the non-emergency number for your local police department and explain what has happened. Your local police department can direct you to the appropriate department and explain what information you need to provide.
I believe someone is using the identity of a deceased relative to obtain credit fraudulently. What should I do?
The executor of the estate or the spouse should notify Experian in writing of the fraudulent activity. Please clearly explain that the person is deceased and that you suspect fraudulent activity is taking place. Be sure to include the deceased person’ full name, most recent address, date of birth and Social Security number. In addition, please enclose a copy of the death certificate. The spouse of the deceased person may receive a credit report at their home address. To mail the credit report to the executor’ address, a copy of the executorship papers must be included with the letter.
I have a credit card account that was fraudulently used by someone I know. What should I do?
Contact the credit card company as soon as possible and truthfully explain what has happened. Ask what the company’s policies are for unauthorized purchases, and work with the customer service department to resolve the issue.This section doesn’t currently include any content.
What are the most common types of Identity Theft?
Credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft (133,015 reports), followed by employment or tax-related fraud (82,051 reports), phone or utilities fraud (55,045 reports), and bank fraud (50,517 reports) in 2017, according to the FTC.
Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were loan or lease fraud (30,034) and government documents or benefits fraud (25,849 reports). Credit card fraud also increased 23% over 2016, overtaking employment or tax-related fraud as the most common.