The illegal or unauthorized use of one’s personal information in order to misuse the money of the authorized owner and to commit credit card frauds or another type of offences.
Your name is illegally used to obtain new loans; services or credits cards and thus frauds take place in your name, without your notice. Identity theft is an act in which someone uses your information and data without taking your consent. This is the reason these days a security freeze is designed that prevents anyone to misuse your credits, loans and services in your name without your approval.
You do not need a big reason to sign up for identity theft protection services. However, before you enrol in one such service, you need to know the costs and benefits of these services. These protection services have identity monitors that scan personally identifiable information in your credit applications, websites and other places against any kind of unusual activity, which may be a sign of identity theft. The identity theft monitoring services do not protect your personal information from being stolen but they monitor and recover your information. These services work to help you deal with the after effects of identity theft.
Credit Monitoring Services:
There are two types of monitoring services- credit monitoring and identity monitoring.
1. Identity Monitoring- It works when any kind of personal information that is generally not shown on your credit report like your driver’s license number, social security number, medical ID number, etc. These services check the databases that collect all the information and find out if your information is misused. The effectiveness of the monitoring depends on the factors like, how good the databases are at collecting information, kinds of databases the service checks, etc.
The identity recovery services:
These services are designed to help you regain your trust and goodwill in the market after the identity theft has occurred to you. The trained counsellors manage your case and help you in writing letters to your creditors and debt collectors. He also freezes your account so that any identity thief do not get the chance to use your name again for another fraud.
2. Credit Monitoring- The work of credit monitoring services is to keep a track on the activities on your credit reports at one, two or all the three reporting agencies i.e. the TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The credit monitoring services will warn you whenever your credit limits change, any company check your credit history, any public record says that you have filed for bankruptcy, any of your personal information changes like your name, address, phone number etc.
Identity theft insurance:
Many of the identity theft protection services facilitate with identity theft insurance this insurance does not cover all the loss but they do cover your out-of-pocket expenses like postage, notary costs and copying. Any financial loss like stolen money which is a result of theft is not reimbursed by these services.
You shall always take advantage of any free identity theft protection services that are offered by any government organization or businesses after if any data breach happens to you. It is your right and responsibility to take initiative and restore your goodwill, which you must have lost due to identity fraud.