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As identity theft crimes escalate, new monitoring service companies are opening their doors for business to lend assistance for victims of identity theft and offer protective services to guard against it.
Typically you can choose from a menu of service options ranging from regular credit report checks for fraudulent activity to a full range of monitoring that includes ongoing public records search for applications made in your name, and surveillance of fraudulent activity occurring on the Internet's financial “black markets” where personal information is bought and sold.
Additionally, most of these services have full-time support specialists who act as advisors and advocates for victims, providing identity theft assistance in reporting and documentation procedures. This support lends welcomed relief for victims at a time when help and advice is most needed.
Before choosing a monitoring service, review information about each one to ensure that what you pay is worth what you get in return. For many, the choice to use a monitoring is one of convenience. Self-monitoring takes time and doing it consistently is key to spotting discrepancies early before they snowball into a massive problem that is difficult to untangle, leaving your credit report in shambles while trying to sort it out. For others, self-monitoring is preferred, providing a sense of control while keeping your personal information out of one more database that is potentially vulnerable as an identity theft target.
Whether you prefer to personally maintain control of monitoring activity, or find relief in relying on an independent service to do it for you, remember that diligence is essential for minimizing damages and maintaining a fraudulent-free credit history.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|