Does Credit Monitoring Prevent Identity Theft?

Using a credit monitoring service can lull people into a false sense of security that they are protected against identity theft. This is not necessarily true. What a credit monitoring service this is that at a crisis you fairly early when suspicious charges and fraudulent activities appear on your credit report. People have become more interested in a credit monitoring service since instances of identity theft are becoming more frequent. A credit monitoring service will only let you know something out of the ordinary or unusual has already happened on your credit file.

For this reason it is not prevention against identity theft but only lets you take quick action.

There are instances in which a credit monitoring service might not help you notice an identity theft at all. If an identity theft results in an account are opened with a bank that doesn’t report to the three main credit goes you may not find out about the account at all to the time that you get an application from a debt collection agency. Even a three in one credit monitoring services is not foolproof as either a thief can open an account with an institution that does not require credit check or uses another credit report which is not from the three national credit bureaus. You may also not get notified if you thief uses only of social security number with a different name. The credit bureaus do not link together accounts with the same social security number and different names.

The promptness of the alerts from a credit monitoring service may also be affected by the delay in the account being reported by a business to the credit bureau.

Another factor to consider is the cost of credit monitoring service. These services range from $50-$180 a year depending on the service you use and the number of reports are being monitored.

There are certain instances in which using a credit monitoring service doesn’t make sense. In case you are in the process of repairing your credit using credit monitoring service to view your credit report frequently might be cheaper than ordering your credit report every time that you need to check it. Credit monitoring services usually allow unlimited access to credit report for yourself and even for the rest of the family. You can use a free trial of a credit monitoring service to access your credit report for a limited period of time. These travel offers last from seven days to 30 days. However you must remember to cancel your free trial offer before the trial offers over otherwise your credit card will get charged for the amount.

Using a credit monitoring service may also make sense in the instance where your identity has been stolen. Using a credit monitoring service will help you monitor your credit report for future fraudulent transactions if your Social Security number or your credit card information has been stolen. You may also stop a moment to consider other less expensive and free alternatives to credit monitoring such as placing a security freeze or a fraud alert on your credit report.