If you have an army of credit cards (like I do) and you use credit monitoring services (like I do), there is a good chance that you’ve seen a barrage of mysterious credit monitoring alerts over the past month.
For example, I got this alert from Credit Karma on May 25th:
“According to your TransUnion credit report, someone added you as an authorized user for their JPMCB CARD credit card.1
Accounts that you’re an authorized user on can affect your credit score just like a normal account, so you’ll want to make sure you trust the primary user of this card.
Check in today to see the details of this new account.”
Hmm… that’s odd. I had not, to my knowledge, been added as an authorized user on any credit card recently. So I put the alert on my to-do list to look into further, as any unexplained credit monitoring alert is something that should be followed up on – especially in light of the massive Equifax hack. To make things even more concerning, Mrs. 20SF got the exact same alert on the exact same day.
Had we somehow had our identities hacked?
A few days later, I got a new “paid tradeline” alert from another credit monitoring service, Credit Sesame:
“You have a Paid Tradeline alert from TransUnion.”
I noticed that this one also mentioned a “JPMCB CARD”. I surmised that “JPMCB” = JP Morgan Chase Bank. So, I decided that I should give Chase a call to see if anyone had opened new cards in our names.
The Chase representative told me that we can ignore the alerts, as they were likely triggered by a recent renaming from “Chase Bank” to “JP Morgan Chase Bank”.
Finally, on May 31, I started receiving revised user agreement emails from Chase that confirmed what we were told by the Chase representative, as the emails started out with the following language,
“Notice: Your Cardmember Agreement and associated Rewards Program Agreement (if any) were assigned to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as successor by merger to Chase Bank USA, N.A., on . Furthermore, beginning all references to Chase Bank USA, N.A. in your Guide to Benefits and any additional account agreements and documents shall be read as JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.”
Looking into both my Credit Karma and Credit Sesame account histories further, it appears that no new accounts were created with the Chase name change (this is good – as new accounts result in a “hard credit inquiry“, as opening or closing a credit card can impact your credit score), and all full account histories for each card are now displayed under “JPMCB Card Services”, example below.
Putting everything together, my take on what happened is:
- Chase officially renamed itself from “Chase Bank USA” to “JPMorgan Chase Bank”.
- This renaming set off false alarms and automated alerts with credit monitoring services like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
- No new accounts were created, so there is no impact on your credit score.
Nothing to worry about.
I think this little saga – and the recent news of a Quest Diagnostics hack that exposed the private information of 12 million customers – serve as important reminders that we should all be using free credit monitoring services that can alert us of suspicious activity.
Also – if you feel like you have legitimately become a victim of identity theft, as of September 21, 2018, free credit freezes (and thaws) are now available to all Americans.