Can Credit Monitoring Services Really Prevent Identity Theft?
The Truth About Identity Theft and Credit Monitoring Services
Identity theft is an ugly crime and it's no surprise that people will do anything they can to prevent it from happening to them. Many identity theft experts advocate credit monitoring services for those who are serious about fighting identity theft. The question is, can credit monitoring really prevent the crime, or are the benefits of credit monitoring services highly misunderstood?
Hate To Burst Your Bubble...
As much as I hate to burst your bubble, I have to tell you that credit monitoring services, while an excellent tool for fighting identity theft, will not actually prevent you from being a victim of the crime. A credit monitoring service is not going to stop your information from falling into the wrong hands and it won't stop a criminal from using your information to commit the crime of identity theft.
So What's the Point?
If you're wondering if credit monitoring services are worth it since they can't stop your information from being misused, the answer is still yes. Even though credit monitoring services can't stop you from becoming a victim of identity theft, they can definitely mitigate the damage and can keep losses to a minimum.
Without credit monitoring services, an identity theft criminal can use your name over a period of years without you even realizing it. However, with credit monitoring services, you're notified the moment something on your credit report changes and you'll know if someone is using your good name to open fraudulent credit accounts.
In addition to notifying you as soon as someone uses your name and your credit, many credit monitoring services also offer identity theft insurance. This means that if someone does manage to steal your identity while you are using their services, you'll be covered for any losses you might experience. The specifics, of course, vary from one credit monitoring service to the next, so you'll want to check with the service you use to see if they offer this type of coverage.
All in all, credit monitoring services cannot prevent identity theft from occurring, but they can indeed put a limit on the amount of damage a criminal can do.