Identity theft is a serious problem that can ruin your credit and your good name. That’s why so many people turn to an identity theft protection agency.
The trouble is, there are so many identity protection companies! Sure, you could spend a lot of money on the best protection, but how much protection do you actually need? You may not need as much protection as you think.
Keeping track of your credit
The first step in protecting your identity is keeping track of your credit accounts. This is one step that nearly every identity theft company offers, but it’s something that you can do on your own as well.
It all starts with keeping tabs on your monthly statements. By following your finances, it is quite easy to identify a fraudulent charge quickly.
If you are able to identify fraud on one of your credit accounts, contact that provider immediately. Many credit card companies have policies in place to reimburse you for fraudulent charges. They will also be able to cancel your current credit card number and issue you a new one.
Even if you discover widespread fraud on multiple accounts, you can still call each credit bureau and ask them to flag your accounts so new lines of credit cannot be opened.
Checking your credit scores is fairly easy to do on your own too. Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work to you, and you’re willing to pay someone else to do it for you, it’s worth looking into an ID theft protection company.
Medical, criminal, and tax fraud monitoring
Although keeping track of your credit is something you can do on your own, that’s not the only way identity theft can take place. When trying to decide exactly how much protection you need from an ID theft protection company, you want to consider medical, criminal, and tax fraud monitoring services.
When it comes to your personal information, things can get tricky. Medical fraud can end up costing you a lot of money, and it’s something that is extremely difficult to monitor on your own. Criminal fraud can end up costing you your good name, while tax fraud can get you in trouble with the IRS. It’s best to turn to an ID theft protection company for these.
Internet monitoring is something that’s impossible for you to do on your own. With so many websites, including black market sites, there’s no way you could keep track of them all! Choosing a plan that includes internet monitoring is a good idea because using the web is one of the easiest ways for thieves to get ahold of your information.
Consider your family and finances
Children are most likely to experience identity theft, so if you have children, you’ll want to choose a comprehensive plan that protects them as well. Seniors are also at risk. An estimated 15.4 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, up from 13.1 million the year before, which means seniors should have an ID theft plan as well.
Consider your finances too! Although an identity thief can ruin your good name, it’s especially devastating if you end up losing your life savings. You may be more likely to benefit from an identity theft protection plan if you and your family are well established.
Plans don’t have to cost a lot of money! Check out all of our reviews and you’ll find that plans start as low as $9.99 a month!