Your credit score is one of the strongest indicators of your financial health. It gives you access to credit but also makes you the ideal candidate for credit card fraud. In the US, credit card fraud makes up 36% of reported identity theft. Fortunately, this list of the finest credit monitoring agencies will protect you from fraud.
Credit monitoring services prevent fraud by scanning the dark web for hackers attempting to use your identity to commit fraud. They also scan court records to determine if your identity has been used falsely. The services also include creating complex passwords and alerting you of fraud attempts.
I’ll discuss how credit monitoring services work and why you should request these services, especially if you are at risk of credit fraud.
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Credit Monitoring Services
Fraudsters are constantly crawling the web to find out who has a high credit score. They then search for other vital information, such as your Social Security number, address, and birthdate. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claimed there were 1.4 million reports of identity theft, double that of 2019.
Companies offering credit monitoring services help to keep you safe and protect you from identity theft. They do this in multiple ways.
Keep Track Of Credit Reports
How often do you go through your credit reports? Sometimes, the problem is not the frequency but timing. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to keep track of your credit report frequently, you need help.
When you request credit monitoring services, you always have someone keeping track of your credit reports. The credit monitoring company will immediately alert you if you or anyone else apply for a credit card in your name.
If you requested a new credit card, there would be no problem. However, if you didn’t, you can cancel and report the fraud before the scammer makes fraudulent purchases under your name.
Use Of Automated Tracking Features
While it is true that you can access all the information that credit monitoring companies do, you may not be as fast in identifying fraud. These companies use automated tracking features which alert them the moment your name is used to acquire a new credit card.
They’ll also be made aware of any purchases, attempts to hack your email, or changes to your passwords the moment it happens.
So, instead of finding out fraud done in your name a week or months too late, credit monitoring services will alert you instantly.
Crawling The Dark Web For Hackers
Credit monitoring service providers don’t just wait for hackers to attack before they act. Instead, they crawl the dark web, hoping to catch them before they commit the crime. This way, you won’t have to worry about identity theft and the long, tedious process of proving you are authentic and that the other person is the fraud.
Identify Loopholes That Fraudsters May Use
Besides using your credit score against you, fraudsters try to find the easiest way to access your information. Some passwords are more vulnerable to hacking. Credit monitoring service providers will assess your passwords to identify loopholes that make you an ideal candidate for identity theft.
They will also suggest ways to tweak your passwords to make them complex and harder to hack.
Scan Criminal And Court Records
Credit monitoring services also include keeping track of court cases in case any of your information comes up in identity theft or credit fraud cases. It sometimes takes time before you are aware of credit fraud using your details. When you request credit monitoring services, you’ll get the information quickly.
Guide You On Ways To Protect Your Identity
Credit monitoring services also include educating you on ways to protect yourself against credit fraud. For example, they’ll train you to identify spam phone calls, advertisements, and emails requesting your personal information.
They’ll give you some red flags, such as giving personal details on “HTTP” sites instead of the secure “HTTPS” websites.
They’ll also educate you on ways to secure your personal information, such as passwords. Once you have the skills, you will make your online transactions safer.
Credit monitoring services have become crucial now that hackers use sophisticated methods to commit identity theft. The fact that you perform so many transactions online doesn’t help matters.
The internet makes life easier but has increased the risk of identity fraud. You need to be more careful about the information you share online. Credit monitoring services, both paid and free, are handy. They will help you retain your high credit score instead of losing it because of a fraudster.
Read also: Chime Credit Builder Review