Identity Theft Protection Services
Identity theft protection services can help you monitor your accounts. They can place fraud alerts or freezes on your credit reports or remove your name from marketing mailing lists. Many people find it valuable and convenient to pay a company to keep track of their financial accounts, credit reports, and personal information. Other people choose to do this on their own for free. Before you pay for a service, evaluate it and its track record before you pay any fees.
Can a Monitoring Service Prevent Identity Theft?
Identity theft protection companies may help you:
- “lock,” “flag,” or “freeze” your credit reports
- place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your reports
- renew or update your alerts or freezes automatically
An identity theft victim can place a fraud alert or renewal for free.
Some companies, including consumer reporting companies, offer subscriptions to credit monitoring services. These services track your credit report, and generally send you an email about recent activity, like an inquiry or new account. The more frequent or more detailed the report, the more expensive the service.
Some companies offer services to help you rebuild your identity after a theft. Typically, you give these services a limited power of attorney, which allows them to act on your behalf when dealing with consumer reporting companies, creditors, or other information sources.
Many companies offer additional services, including removing your name from mailing lists or pre-screened offers of credit or insurance, representing your legal interests, “guaranteeing” reimbursement in the event you experience a loss due to identity theft, or helping you track down whether your personal information has been exposed online.