You’d better shop around


Identity theft is a major problem and it’s not limited to the United States, it is a global phenomenon. The biggest contributor to identity theft is the accessibility of information. Information is at our fingertips, anyone can access your information in just a few moments. Freedom of Information acts means that others can legally access official information about you through public records. Anyone includes identity thieves.

We know identity theft cannot be stopped or prevented because our personal information is no longer private. Everywhere you go, everything you do, someone is collecting information on you. School records, background checks even that little customer loyalty card you’ve got from a store you shop at to get discounts is another method of collecting information about you. Even though you are doing everything recommended to prevent identity theft, these agencies and companies can expose or lose your information at any time placing you at risk. The only thing you can do is be prepared and be proactive.

Which brings up the issue of identity theft protection. All identity theft protection plans are not created equal and you need to know what to look for in a plan and why. Here are a few things that a good identity theft protection plan should provide.

Credit Monitoring

Early detection is the key to limiting your loss. Credit monitoring is very important. Experts recommend checking your credit report often, I recommend continuous monitoring. Many of the legal protections you have against identity theft and fraudulent charges are time sensitive. Continuous credit monitoring with immediate notification means you will discover this activity quickly allowing you to take full advantage of these protections.

Identity Restoration
A good plan should provide restoration services. Think of it this way. If the wiring in your house developed a short, are you going to try to fix it yourself or call an electrician? You call the electrician to fix it because you know it needs to be done right to prevent future troubles. You also know that the electrician knows how to safely deal with the power source, you don’t want to risk an electrical fire by making things worse so you let the expert do his job. The expert also knows how to check the wiring to locate all of the wiring problems in your home. That’s the job of the identity restoration investigator, to not only restore your identity but to track down trouble in other areas. What good is it to fix your credit because of those hot checks but not find the warrants that were created because of the hot checks? This brings us to the last area of coverage and perhaps the most important….

Address the Need for Legal Counsel

Your credit issues in the long run are minor. The Federal Government provides you with legal recourse for most credit issues resulting from identity theft provided you take advantage of them in the allotted time frame. Your legal issues will be the major part of your problem and an attorney could be critical. If there are warrants in your name due to identity theft you may find yourself arrested and thrown in jail, this happens on a regular basis. Criminal Identity Theft is second only to Financial Identity theft which accounts for 30% of the total reported cases. You will need a lawyer not only to help at the time of your arrest but most likely to represent you in a court of law. This is in addition to other legal issues you may be facing.

Also when looking at identity theft restoration plans, understand what they are actually offering, many plans are offering services you can do yourself for free or services that are not really protecting you such as a credit freeze. A credit freeze is great if you know you are risk to prevent NEW ACCOUNTS from being opening in your name but those existing accounts are not covered. Always read the disclaimers and make sure you understand them. If the “guarantee” is not providing you with reimbursement on your losses what good is it?

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2 comments on “You’d better shop around

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