In today’s world, identity theft has become a major problem. All an identity thief needs is your social security number and they can take loans out in your name and be long gone before you know that your identity has been stolen. There are many ways you can help protect yourself from becoming a victim of this crime.
Is id theft protection worth it? The market is being flooded with all sorts of insurance offers that claim they can protect you from having your personal information stolen. The truth of the matter is that most of these companies do very little to protect you, and they will not pay you for the money that was actually stolen. This type of crime is generally committed by a family member, and most of these insurance companies will not pay you anything if a family member is the culprit.
Sometimes they might pay for legal fees or for money from lost work. Of course layers generally are not involved in the recovery process, so this is a service that you will give you little, if any, benefit if you ever need to use it.
Perhaps the only real advantage to identity theft insurance is the monitoring service that some of them provide. With this service, they will monitor your credit reports and alert you if any suspicious transactions are detected. The ID theft insurance companies will give you instructions and advice on what you need to do if your identity has been stolen, but that is about as much help they will give you.
The main reason they don’t do more than that is because the credit lenders will only work with the victim directly and not a third-party such as your ID theft insurance company. So the answer to the question is no, ID theft insurance is not worth the price for what you are getting.
There are some steps that you can do your self that will help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of this crime. The first thing to do is to buy a good paper shredder and start shredding all the credit card offers that you get in the mail.
Your next step is to opt-out of getting credit card offers. This will help protect you from having thieves take the offers from your mailbox. There is a phone number that you can call which is 888-5-OPTOUT.
Once you have done that you should get a copy of your credit report from the three major bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You are legally allowed to get a free copy from them once a year. After you get them, look them over very carefully for anything suspicious.
If you order a copy from one of the three credit bureaus, wait four months, and then get another from another bureau, you could get three reports per year for free instead of just one. This will help you save some money while helping you to stay up to date on what is on your credit reports.
If you notice something that doesn’t seem to belong, contact one of the credit bureaus and have them place a 90 day fraud alert on your credit report. By law, it will have to contact the other two and place the alert on their records also. This warns lenders to contact you first before granting a loan in your name.
With a little time and effort, you can protect yourself from having your identity stolen without having to spend a lot of money on identity theft insurance that you will most likely never need anyway.