Using credit monitoring companies or buying identity theft insurance can be an iffy proposition in some instances.
In the last few years over 50 million Americans have had their personal information stolen, lost or had government agencies, banks, etc, improperly disclose their information.
The economic crisis has just added “fuel to the fire” in the amount of identity theft that has risen due to people losing their homes, jobs, etc.
Experian’s CreditCheck Monitoring (ConsumerInfo.com sells this), Credit Manager; TransUnion Credit Monitoring, Identity Guard’s Credit Protect, Equifax’s Score Watch, and Credit Watch Gold, Gold Family, Silver, provide what is called one-bureau coverage.
This leaves a big gap for the chances of becoming an identity theft victim.
Closely examine all the terms of the agreement before you sign up, as many times, they will Not cover amounts prior to the purchase of the coverage.
Example: if you signed up for credit monitoring this year but find your identity was stolen before the product was purchased, your losses will be excluded from coverage.
Check out more information on credit monitoring services.
This can really add up because, in many cases, ID theft can take years to find.
The frequent credit checks will “ding” your credit score and lower it dramatically.
Points are subtracted from your credit score if your credit is checked by an agency other than a credit bureau (called third party) furnishing that particular credit report.
The interesting point about the debate on whether to get Identity Theft Insurance or sign up with one of the credit monitoring companies is the fact that identity theft insurance does not pay back the money that’s stolen from you.
Another interesting note is the fact that most creditors will only deal with the person the identity theft happened to and not the service company you sign up for.
So the burden providing documentation, time dealing with your creditors, and working out the problems cause by identity theft will, in most cases, still be yours!
There are many steps you can initiate to protect yourself from becoming an identity theft victim and in monitoring your own credit. Here are some actions you should take…
…The best way to protect yourself and be pro-active instead of re-active (after identity theft has happened) is to check out your own credit report, which you can receive for free. See how below.
Identity theft is a crime of opportunity, and it’s no wonder considering all the areas of vulnerability that are available to a criminal.
Consumers in America were given the ability to limit access to their individual credit reports by all three credit reporting agencies as of November, 2007.
Go to credit freeze to learn which fraud alert action is better for you and how this works.
This is something Everyone should take advantage of, and is one of the best ways for You to take control of protecting your own identity.
No one is going to care about protecting your credit as much as you do.
Go to the consumer service site, annualcreditreport.com for your free reports.
Freecreditreport.com sells credit ratings and credit monitoring services that are Not industry standard FICO scores.
Tip: Instead of getting all three credit reports at the same time, get one report from each bureau every 4 months.
This makes the chances of catching any irregularities to your credit reports easier to find.
If you get All your reports at the beginning of the year, you have to wait almost another full year before you can get them again.
This gap in between allows a lot of time for identity theft to happen.
On the other hand…
Among these new services is:
Go to their websites and compare their services and prices and be aware of what the monthly price covers.
Also compare the new fraud detection services vs. the credit monitoring companies and see which is right for your situation.