Disappointing stories of identity theft abound online and in the news. Consumers worry about their personal privacy. Agencies that offer credit monitoring rely on these fears and worries to sell their services to you. Most of them advertise that they can prevent id theft with credit monitoring. Are these advertisements for real or just gimmicks to get more money out of your pockets?
Necessity versus False Sense of Security
Most credit monitoring agencies advertise that they provide regular credit check to notify you of changes in your credit report. These include creation of new accounts, changes in address related to your credit report, and huge purchases. These notifications are sent to you immediately after they have occurred. Thus, you can know the changes that occur to your credit report, and take necessary actions as soon as possible.
However, you have to realize that these precautions can’t prevent identity theft when it occurs. This service only aids you in the early detection of identity theft and credit card fraud, if ever it is present. The main advantage it can provide is that it minimizes the damage to you but it does not guarantee 100% protection.
For a fee requirement of up to $ 100 per year, credit monitoring might not be worth your money if you are on a tight budget. This is because you can monitor credit on your own without shelling out money to let others do the task for you.
Convenience versus Taking Time
The main selling point of credit monitoring is the convenience it provides you. By subscribing to the service, you don’t have to personally review your credit and spot suspicious activities in your bank statements. You can receive instantaneous fraud alerts and employ an automatic credit freeze on your accounts. So if you are a busy person or simply a paranoid about identity theft, subscription to the service may be worth your money, if it will save you some precious time and give you a peace of mind.
Notification after Circumstance
What consumers have to know is that credit monitoring does not completely protect them from id theft. With this service, you are informed of the changes that happen to your credit after it has already taken place. Thus, when someone else goes on a shopping spree on your credit, you can’t change the outcome. The advantage is that you can put a stop to it immediately so that the perpetrator can’t use your credit again.
The importance of credit monitoring cannot be discounted. Whether or not to pay for it is still a topic of debate. The main advantages of credit monitoring include convenience and early detection of id theft.