Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Top Causes of Identity Theft? Not the Internet—Yet

Written by Joe Reynolds on January 14, 2013 in Credit  |   7 comments

Do you always keep your wallet or purse in a safe place—or do you occasionally misplace it or leave it in the backseat of your car or another vulnerable spot when you are distracted by life’s daily demands? If you said yes to the latter,…

identity theft causesDo you always keep your wallet or purse in a safe place—or do you occasionally misplace it or leave it in the backseat of your car or another vulnerable spot when you are distracted by life’s daily demands? If you said yes to the latter, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, when these everyday essentials are stolen or go missing, identity theft or fraud often follows. Your credit cards, driver’s license, and other personal information enable criminals to commit fraud or crimes, all in your name.

A new study examining the claims made in 2011 by Travelers’ customers insured against identity fraud shows that stolen or misplaced items are still a major cause of these crimes. Of the roughly two-thirds able to pinpoint the source of their identity theft, stolen wallets and pocketbooks topped the list.

Because identity thieves also acquire valuable personal information in less obvious ways—from sorting through trash for bank statements to stealing pre-approved credit card applications from the mail—other customers could not say how their identities were stolen. Often, people are not aware that someone is illegally using their credit or dipping into their bank account until it appears in their monthly statement.

Our study also revealed other common fraud sources. In the number two spot: a stolen or compromised driver’s license, Social Security card, or other form of personal identification. In some instances, thieves accessed this critical information by copying identifying numbers from an employee badge, student ID, or Medicare card, all of which carried the member’s Social Security number.

Not surprisingly, burglaries rated third, followed by cyber-breaches (including Internet scams) and old-fashioned forgeries. According to a separate study released earlier this year by Javelin Strategy & Research, data breaches, which typically expose Social Security, debit, and credit card numbers, are on the rise nationally.

The high cost of identity theft

Identity theft is not rare. Figures released in 2011 by the U.S. Justice Department show that about 8.6 million households experienced some form of identity theft in 2010; the direct cost to households—$13.3 billion.

Compromised Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, or other confidential data can help criminals acquire new debit and credit card accounts in your name—as well as loans, medical services, and tax refunds. Though the financial services industry has imposed tougher safeguards against identity theft, the trove of personal information—birthdates, phone numbers, and so on—shared on social media sites has provided new fodder for criminal imposters.

When payments for fraudulent accounts go unpaid (criminals rarely pick up the tab), your credit score can suffer. It can take considerable time and money to restore it.

How to protect yourself against identity theft

  • Always secure your purse or wallet in a safe place.
  • Carry only essentials. Leave the rest of your cards and critical documents in a discreet, burglar–proof space.
  • Annually check your free credit report from each of the national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Be careful about sharing personal information on social media.
  • If you get a data breach notice, monitor your accounts closely and change your passwords.
  • Do not put account numbers or any other unnecessary information on envelopes of outgoing mail.
  • Know when card statements arrive, and if they are late, remember to call.
  • Shred old bills and other unnecessary financial records.
  • Consider buying identity fraud insurance, a relatively inexpensive add-on to your renters or homeowners insurance policy. It typically reimburses the cost of reclaiming your identity—attorney and notary fees and replacement of your identification—and should include high-quality resolution services. It is a low-cost investment against a high-expense crime.

Joe Reynolds is an identity fraud product manager at Travelers.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. CTS says:

    Thanks for the helpful blog. Perhaps you can help me with another issue. My husband has unable to reach anyone in Equifax by telephone to unfreeze his security freeze (which he froze after important documents were lost). He has written twice to Equifax with copies of all his major documents because he lost his PIN. He cannot find a way to speak to anyone at Equifax to get this settled, as he did with Experian and TransUnion. Thanks for your advice.

  2. Basic Identity Theft Information from Equifax | Luxury Real Estate Forum says:

    […] surprising information comes from a recent article from the Equifax Finance Blog entitled, “Top Causes of Identity Theft? Not the Internet—Yet.” In the article an identity fraud product manager at Travelers, Joe Reynolds, relays this […]

  3. Kate says:

    is it possible that a person becomes victim of ID theft using the online form of Equifax to place an initial alert? Because in this form they ask you for SSN, full address, full name, DOB and when you click submit how can you be 100% sure that your information won’t go to the wrong people, considering the fact that today hackers can even have access to bank database?

  4. Sara says:

    I agree with you Kate. I don’t feel safe given out my email, age an name to sites because I DONT know who is stalking me and waiting for me to put down more personal information.

  5. Sam says:

    what are the 10 MAIN reasons or causes of identity theft?

  6. ann says:

    why should a financial institution give out loan without proper identification, like taking a quick picture or passport photograph of the person receiving the loan? just like they do in the arrest record, people can’t deny that it wasn’t them in the picture. in Nigeria, when you go to a bank to open an account, they take a quick passport photograph of you, so that your account has your picture attached to it. when ever you go to the bank to withdraw money, your manifest displays your picture, this way the bank attendant can actually identify that it is you, else the attendant would notify security. since the bank has your record and you apply for loan, the manifest displays your picture again to see if you actually own the account number

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Credit Archive