I just signed into my Paypal account this morning to see that Paypal has teamed up with Equifax to offer free Equifax Credit Alerts to all US based Paypal users. Credit Alerts systems are basically an “early warning system” that something strange may be going on with your credit report. Equifax will monitor your credit file and whenever certain activities take place, send you an email to let you know. For example, if someone tries to obtain credit in your name or when a significant change occurs on one of your existing financial/credit accounts. If the alert comes and you are the one who has done it, then no problem. If an alert comes and you have no idea why, it’s a good chance that someone may be trying to commit identity theft on you.
The Paypal/Equifax program provides the following:
Early warnings: Automatic notification through email in the event there’s an inquiry to your credit file or there’s a balance change. Free for PayPal users: No charge to PayPal registered users in the U.S. Toll-free hot-line: Call if you believe you’re a victim of identity theft.
The sign up process seemed to be fairly painless, but I couldn’t get through it all (I assume because I have little credit history having lived in Japan the last 10 years). I was told to call the customer service number to verify, but think I’ll wait until I’m back in the US this summer to do it. I did notice that you need to be careful as you must opt-out so that they do not provide your information to third parties. Still, overall it seems like a good added layer of credit protection in addition to requesting your free credit reports every 4 months to monitor against identity theft.