Saturday, November 7, 2015

Identity Monitor Useful as Theft Becomes More Common

identity monitor

Identity theft is known as the fastest growing crime in America.  It occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information for their own gain.   Anyone can be a victim – age, race and income don’t matter to an identity thief.  Anyone who is concerned about their financial future should help protect themselves with an identity monitor.

Why has identity theft become so common?

It is easy to pull off.  A name, birthday, credit card number or social security number are all a thief needs to get started.  These can be obtained countless numbers of ways, from high tech mass data breaches to stealing mail and wallets.  Once they have the information, all they need is a phone and a cheap computer to get started.

It is very profitable.  Identity theft gives a criminal access not only to your financial accounts, but also to your ability to borrow and spend.  Because they are not going to be concerned with keeping current with their credit, they can just take and take.

There is little that law enforcement can do.  Technology enables the identity thief to operate behind a keyboard nowhere near their victims.  Because the crime is perpetrated from a distance and usually has multiple components, it is often difficult for law enforcement to investigate.

What can you do?

You cannot prevent identity theft completely, so your best defense is to detect identity theft as soon as possible.  When someone commits identity theft, it often results in changes to your public records and credit report.  Identity monitoring services protect you by monitoring for certain changes and promptly alerting you.  You can check your credit report yourself for free from each of the three credit bureaus once per year, but doing that alone leaves you vulnerable between checks.  The best identity monitoring services will check your credit report year-round from all three credit bureaus.  When they alert you to a change, if it appears to be fraudulent they will also help advise you on what to do next.  Cleaning up your credit report can be a long, complicated process, so their help can be very valuable.

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