Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Every minute about nine people have their identity stolen. (Identity Theft and Identity Fraud, 2013). Identity theft can happen to anyone at any time. A consumer can protect themselves without having to purchase a protection program. Protection programs are available to help consumers protect their identity. An identity theft program isn’t the best protection against identity theft.
There are a number of protection plan companies a consumer can choose from. Each company has their own plans to choose from and each have different rates. A consumer can review the ratings of each company also. When a consumer has a protection program there are some advantages. These programs review the client’s credit reports with ...view middle of the document...
In order for a consumer to get a protection plan, they must pay a monthly/yearly fee for the program. If a consumer’s identity is stolen, the consumer will not be reimbursed for any money that has been stolen. Identity theft insurance does not cover the consumer if a family member is the one who committed the crime. When it comes to dealing with the creditors, they refuse to talk to anyone but the consumer themselves. A consumer can also check their homeowner’s insurance policy to see if they already are covered for identity theft.
A consumer can protect themselves by getting a free credit report each year from the three credit score companies: Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian. The best way to get the three free in one year is to get one at a time. Then the consumer should wait three months and apply for another one from one of the credit reporting companies they hadn’t used. Then the consumer needs to wait another three months to apply for the last one. A consumer can then check each credit report and make sure nothing has been added to their credit report. If a consumer becomes a victim of identity theft, they can place a fraud alert on their credit reports and this also encourages potential lenders to take extra steps in verifying a consumers ID before extending credit. (Equifax, 2013).
Identity theft protection services can help a consumer monitor their accounts. Some consumers find it valuable and convenient to pay a company to keep track of their financial accounts. Other consumers choose to do this on their own for free. Before you pay for a service, evaluate it and its track record before you pay any fees. Restoring credit after being a victim of identity theft is a very time consuming and emotional process. Protection programs can be helpful, but not comprehensive in stopping identity theft. Consumers should take extra steps whenever possible to aid in the services of the prevention of identity theft.