I ended last week with a post about fraud and identity theft. Again, it is important to take as many necessary precautions as possible to protect yourself and your credit. In addition to the tips I suggested last week, I wanted to add some insight into what a Credit Monitoring program is and what it can offer you in relation to fraud.
I want to start by saying that while a credit monitoring program can offer many positives it does NOT stop fraud from occurring. It is a way to see what is occurring on your credit at any given time depending on the program you choose. Once it happens it is already too late. However, these alerts help consumers react faster and can save some frustration.
It is good to be aware that those accounts are usually in default; so if you see accounts that are in good standing but aren’t yours on your credit profile it probably isn’t identity theft. It is possible with common names (relatives) that accounts can be listed with the wrong person.
Credit monitoring CAN alert you when new activity has been generated:
Accounts are opened or closed
Your score fluctuates
Inquiries and reviews of credit
Changes in personal information
Credit monitoring can be a valuable tool and in future posts I will touch on it a bit more but I just wanted to offer the simple tip that it cannot protect you from identity theft or credit card fraud. It can only tell you that it is occurring.