Free Credit Monitoring for U.S. Military Members – Will It Prevent Identity Theft?

As of October 31, 2019, a new policy came into place that will affect how military service members view their credit files. The Federal Trade Commission finalized a new rule that requires the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to provide active duty military members with free electronic credit monitoring. This new rule is coincidentally called the Free Electronic Credit Monitoring for Active Duty Military Rule. According to the way the policy was written, many, but not all, military service members will have access to free credit monitoring as of the end of Q3 2019.

Who can get free credit monitoring?

One of the major things that the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) had to figure out before this rule was implemented was how they will verify the military status of the person. The rule defines an “active duty military consumer” as a consumer who is assigned to serve away from their usual duty station, or as a member of the National Guard. An interesting side note on this new credit monitoring offering to members of the military is that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied the value of the credit monitoring offered to government employees affected by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach and concluded that the efficacy of this coverage is limited. GAO pointed out that the personal information compromised in breaches can be used for many types of identity theft that would not be identified by credit monitoring. “These services also typically do not address some types of threats, such as medical identity or tax refund fraud.”

What does this mean?

Consumers are being greatly misled when it comes to the value of credit monitoring. Credit monitoring does not provide protection from identity theft nor does it prevent identity theft. Credit monitoring can be compared to a smoke detector. It may show when something has happened, but it cannot prevent it. If the U.S. were to offer something of value to those who have served our country honorably, they would offer a service that would take care of the burden of fixing the identities of those service members who experience identity theft. The only real solution is providing our service members with fully managed identity theft restoration.

The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. Our extended family plan covers the member, their spouse/partner, the member and spouse’s/partner’s parents and their children. We’re the experts at identity theft restoration, offering a 100% guaranteed identity theft restoration service. But, you have to get covered before there’s an incident. When you sign up for LibertyID, you’re covering yourself and your family from the fallout of identity theft and the potentially hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars lost due to identity theft.