Fighting Identity Theft on the Dark Web

To prevent ID theft, credit card issuers monitor the dark web for your personal information.

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With identity theft on the rise, credit card issuers are introducing new benefits designed to make you feel more secure. Discover recently announced that cardholders can sign up for free monitoring of their Social Security numbers on the “dark web,” where criminals buy and sell stolen personal data. “It’s like Amazon for thieves,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. If your SSN pops up on a risky website, Discover will alert you through e-mail or text message. MasterCard also offers free dark-web surveillance for credit and debit card customers’ SSNs plus other information, such as the number associated with your driver’s license. It’s a common feature of paid identity-theft monitoring services, too.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.