Understanding Identity Theft Protection Services – Are They Right for You?
55Identity theft is a billion dollar business. Thieves can use stolen personal information to make purchases with your credit cards, get a loan in your name, steal your tax refund, or worse. The good news is that there are steps everyone can take to protect their identity and one may be to purchase identity theft protection services.
How do identity thieves use my information?Identity theft services are available with a variety of options based on your need and to know which you may need, it’s helpful to understand how thieves use stolen data. Most identity theft occurs as unauthorized credit card purchases and in the United States, liability is limited by law, but identity thieves can do much more than shop with your information. Stolen data let thieves:
- Make withdrawals from your bank account
- Obtain medical care in your name
- File fake tax returns and intercept your refund
- Use your identity if they are arrested for a crime
How do identity theft protection services work?The key to minimizing the impact of identity theft is to stop it as soon as it occurs. Identity theft services are usually a combination of credit and identity monitoring designed to notify you quickly when potential fraudulent changes in your credit report or other accounts occur, including:
- Changes in your credit report including new loans in your name and credit history checks
- If personal information is detected on a payday loan application or new utility account
- If a change of address has been requested
- If your information is found on websites where stolen data is sold