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Author Topic: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?  (Read 1696 times)

Joe Hone

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My credit union (for those of you not in the USA, a credit union is similar to a federally chartered bank but with slightly different rules) offers a free service that looks good in that it will check my credit score daily for potential fraudulent activity, and another free service will check daily for any of a host of interests running my name/address/credit (includes utility companies, government agencies, banking and credit companies, etc.). But both of these services are offered by 3rd parties, and I have to basically give them the exact info that I'm trying to protect - full name, DOB, SSN, bank and credit card account numbers. I get that they need to know who I am to run these checks, but I'm hesitant for obvious reasons. Do you have experience with any similar services? Any thoughts about giving "it" up in order to protect "it"?

Cuffy

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 10:44:11 PM »
I have no experience but I'm thinking that's a good way to get some  :D
Having had some experience in military intelligence gathering I wouldn't give that much information to my mother  :-[
With any two pieces of the puzzle it wouldn't take long to put it all together and "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch"  :huh:
It sounds like a helluva deal and if it sounds too goo...................................... :tellme:

4wd

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 04:31:50 AM »
... will check my credit score daily for potential fraudulent activity ...

How does that check for fraudulent activity?

If someone goes and buys something online using your credit card info and it's accepted, how does that impact your credit score at all other than to say you're a good credit risk.

Sounds like it's geared specifically towards the interests of the credit companies, not you.

My bank SMS' my credit card balance to my phone once a week so I always have an idea of what it should be.  Simple, costs me nothing, and no-one else gets the details.

Quote
... and another free service will check daily for any of a host of interests running my name/address/credit (includes utility companies, government agencies, banking and credit companies, etc.).

So they're going to check to see whether your credit rating has been accessed by people already authorised to access them?

Why bother, it's already too late to do anything about it.

AFAICS, you're just giving your details to a 3rd party who provides nothing that you can't do yourself or that can't be done anything about.

app103

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 05:09:06 AM »
Unless you know for sure that you have been a victim of a data theft, there really is not too much need for this kind of service, and accepting a freebie from a 3rd party you don't know if you can trust could make you more likely to become a victim, not less likely.

And if you are ever the victim of such a data theft (such as something like this), wherever the breach took place, that company would likely pay for the service on your behalf for a number of years, and usually through a reputable monitoring company, just to cover their own legal butts.

I know, because my daughter's personal and medical info was stolen.  A local hospital worker was transporting it on a hard drive, in the back seat of their personal vehicle, to a hospital owned lab in the next town. They left their car unattended (to go grab lunch), and it was broken into...and the hard drive was stolen. The hospital contacted my daughter to inform her about this, told her exactly what data was on the hard drive, sent her a copy of the police report, and offered her 5 years of free credit monitoring through Experian (one of the Big Three credit bureaus).

Joe Hone

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 07:53:40 AM »
How does that check for fraudulent activity?

So they're going to check to see whether your credit rating has been accessed by people already authorised to access them?

Why bother, it's already too late to do anything about it.

I did a little research for these very questions. Your credit rating is tied to not only your payment history, but to how many credit cards you have, how many loans you have, how many you have applied for, etc. It can be lowered each time your credit gets run - that's why one is cautioned against activity that might result in it being run (i.e. don't allow a financial institution to check if you qualify for a loan you are not serious about applying for). In any event, the rationale behind the service being offered is that when someone steals your name/DOB/address and applies for a credit card or loan or something similar, both the running of your credit and the application for the loan/credit card shows up immediately and gets flagged as potential fraudulent activity. You get notified right away and can take the appropriate steps to undo the transaction.

My bank isn't pushing the service - they already have all my personal info anyway - which is why I posted here.

Having had some experience in military intelligence gathering I wouldn't give that much information to my mother  :-[

I agree, except for when I poked around the 3rd party sites they already had most of my info. Disturbing.

Unless you know for sure that you have been a victim of a data theft, there really is not too much need for this kind of service, and accepting a freebie from a 3rd party you don't know if you can trust could make you more likely to become a victim, not less likely.

And if you are ever the victim of such a data theft (such as something like this), wherever the breach took place, that company would likely pay for the service on your behalf for a number of years, and usually through a reputable monitoring company, just to cover their own legal butts.

The hospital contacted my daughter to inform her about this, told her exactly what data was on the hard drive, sent her a copy of the police report, and offered her 5 years of free credit monitoring through Experian (one of the Big Three credit bureaus).

Good info. This appears to be the same offering your daughter got, real-time monitoring through the big three credit bureaus, except it is a free service through my credit union and not offered as a result of fraudulent activity.

Thanks for all the input, I think I'll pass for now and do more research. I'll post here if I find out anything useful.

4wd

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 11:49:53 AM »
It can be lowered each time your credit gets run - that's why one is cautioned against activity that might result in it being run (i.e. don't allow a financial institution to check if you qualify for a loan you are not serious about applying for).

That's just retarded - asking whether someone is a good/bad credit risk shouldn't have any effect on whether they are a good/bad credit risk.

wraith808

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Re: Giving personal identifying info . . . to credit protection companies?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 12:14:27 PM »
It can be lowered each time your credit gets run - that's why one is cautioned against activity that might result in it being run (i.e. don't allow a financial institution to check if you qualify for a loan you are not serious about applying for).

That's just retarded - asking whether someone is a good/bad credit risk shouldn't have any effect on whether they are a good/bad credit risk.

The reasoning behind this is that indiscriminately checking if you can get credit implies that you will get more credit than you can handle.

That said, there are some credit inquiries that do not trigger this.