Identity theft protection services can help you monitor your accounts, place fraud alerts or freezes on your
credit reports, and remove your name from marketing mailing lists. Some people find it valuable and convenient to pay a company to keep track of their financial accounts, credit reports and personal information. Many people choose to do this on their own for free. Before you pay for a service, evaluate it and its track record before you pay any fees.
Identity theft protection companies may help you:
"Lock," "flag," or
"freeze" your credit reports
- Place a fraud alert or
credit freeze on your reports
- Renew or update your alerts or freezes automatically
An identity theft victim can
place a fraud alert or renewal for free.
Some companies, including consumer reporting agencies, offer subscriptions to credit monitoring services. These services track your credit report, and generally send you an email about recent activity, like an inquiry or new account.
Other companies offer services to help you rebuild your identity after a theft. Typically, you give these services a limited power of attorney, which allows them to act on your behalf when dealing with consumer reporting agencies, creditors, or other information sources.
Many companies offer additional services, including removing your name from mailing lists or pre-screened offers of credit or insurance, representing your legal interests, “guaranteeing” reimbursement in the event you experience a loss due to identity theft, or helping you track down whether your personal information has been exposed online.