Thursday, March 20, 2014

Are Credit Monitoring services worth it?

Very interesting article:
Having purchased credit monitoring/protection services for the past 24 months — and having been the target of multiple identity theft attempts — I feel somewhat qualified to share my experience with readers. The biggest takeaway for me has been that although these services may alert you when someone opens or attempts to open a new line of credit in your name, most will do little — if anything — to block that activity. My take: If you’re being offered free monitoring, it probably can’t hurt to sign up, but you shouldn’t expect the service to stop identity thieves from ruining your credit.


Normally, I place fraud alerts on my credit file every 90 days, as allowed by law. This step is supposed to require potential creditors to contact you and obtain your permission before opening new lines of credit in your name. You merely need to file a fraud alert (also called a “security alert”) with one of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union). Whichever one you file with is required by law to alert the other two bureaus as well.

Most consumers don’t know this (few consumers know the names of the three main credit bureaus), but there is actually a fourth credit bureau that you should alert: Innovis. This bureau follows the same rules as the big three, and you may file a fraud alert with them at this link.
There's a lot more, all good info.


Knucklehead said...

Regarding free services such as credit monitoring, I try to keep in mind a bit of wisdom one of my bosses once shared with me...

"If you ain't the customer you're the product."

Easy to punch holes in it but... Everyone is selling something, nobody is giving anything away. If they offer you something for free think about what it is that they are selling once you take hold of your freebie.

Unknown said...

USAA offers a great one

Unknown said...

USAA offers a great one

Sean D Sorrentino said...

I get really bent out of shape about the concept of "Identity Theft." There is no such thing. What is really happening already has a name, "bank fraud." If someone lies to a bank and is given credit by that bank under false pretenses, steals money from that bank using the credit they received under false pretenses, how is that my problem? I neither offered nor accepted money. I received no consideration. I wasn't party to any agreement, yet somehow it's my responsibility to get it fixed.

The banks started selling us the idea of "Identity Theft) to make us feel that we were the ones being stolen from. That's exactly backwards. No one has stolen anything from me. They have stolen it from the bank, so it's the bank's problem to resolve.

Old NFO said...

It is a great idea, and I also have my bank and credit cards on fraud monitoring.