Identity theft happens if your personal or financial information is in use without your knowledge or permission. After an identity theft, they compromise your name, address, social security number, or bank details. They may access your credit protection insurance details and use them to pay a mortgage and other debts without your knowledge. Other things that can happen with identity theft are;
- Use of your credit cards online and at point of sale
- Open utility bill accounts under your name
- Open new credit cards in various financial institutions
- Get your tax relief benefits
- Access medical care with your insurance cover
There are a few precautions one can take to avoid identity theft. Below are ways to protect one from identity theft and knowing if you are a victim of identity theft.
Protecting yourself from identity theft
- Keep your documents safely.
- Some of the documents that should be in safe custody all the time are the Medicare cards, your credit cards, and social security number documents.
- Be careful when giving social security number details.
- Take care of the information you enter online and protect information on your phone.
- Seek ID theft protection services.
What to Look for in the Best ID Theft Protection Services
To identify the best company to offer ID theft protection services, one should opt for a company with different monitoring procedures. That way, all aspects of your personal and financial details remain safe. Below are the 6 factors to consider to identify the best service provider.
1. ID Monitoring
The first step in ID monitoring is to ensure all the information in the databases regarding you are accurate and safe. Some of the information that the companies monitoring your ID details can find may not appear on the credit report. You can get information regarding a change of address, records from the law enforcement offices, existing orders for new utility and services, or social media posts with your details. In case you get such information that you do not remember initiating any of the above, then a crackdown on who may be using your details can start. That way, they can stop identity theft.
2. Credit Monitoring Procedures
Companies that offer this service will give information regarding your bank account transactions, track credit score changes, and information regarding loss of wallet or credit card and other bank information. In case of an unusual report, then one can take measures to prevent identity theft.
3. Protection Plans and Features
The best ID theft protection services offer a variety of plans to cover the needs of different clients. Most people will prefer ID theft protection services that include social media, bank information, dark web, and address monitoring. But there are various plans at different rates to ensure all potential clients can access the services. One should choose their option depending on their needs for identity theft protection and their budget.
4. Identity Recovery Services
Sometimes identity theft causes damage to your reputation and may also result in financial loss. The best ID protection services will offer services to help you recover your identity and the financial loss. They will contact credit managers or debt collectors, freeze your credit reports, and reviewing various documents to help protect further damage. Most identity theft cases also end in the courts. Professional ID protection services may represent you in a court of law too. They offer these services at an extra fee, but you will get value for your money.
5. Insurance Coverage
With insurance coverage, the expenses to reclaim your identity become the responsibility of the insurance company. You may also recover any income loss such as wages, fines, and legal fees in case of a court settlement option.
6. Real-Time Updates and Alerts
Timely updates and alerts on the use of your personal or financial information illegally can help prevent financial loss and reputation damage. Most ID theft protection invests in monitoring their client’s information constantly and provide such updates on time.
Identity theft crimes are on the rise. There are a few things you can do to identify identity theft. They are;
- Tracking and reviewing utility bills regularly and reporting any unusual utility bills to the relevant authorities.
- Monitoring bank transactions and reviewing monthly bank account and credit card statements
- Reviewing credit report
Individuals should also consider investing in ID theft protection services to help reduce identity theft crimes. One should also consider taking care of their personal information to prevent such crimes.