Credit Monitoring & Fraud Protection Services
Our credit monitoring protection services are a safe, smart investment to guard against identity theft & fraud that threaten your credit score. Learn more!
What is Credit Protection?
Preserve credit health with credit protection services. Data breaches, identity theft, and fraud can happen to anyone. In fact, the Consumer Sentinel Network took in over 3.2 million reports in 2019. A scary stat that leads to even more frightening repercussions to the individual’s personal finances and credit score.
The best credit monitoring and protection services will monitor your consumer credit reports and credit files in order to track your applications for new credit, your payment history, and the amount of debt you have. These credit protection services will alert you if a company checks your credit history or if a new credit card account or loan is opened in your name.
Identity Theft & Your Credit Score
It can take months, sometimes even years, to clear your name after identity theft, not only that, it can cause major damage to your credit score, which can make it much more difficult to be approved by lenders for a federal or payday loan or a mortgage and increase your interest rates on credit cards.
Besides old-fashioned methods of identity theft such as stealing wallets, purses, and personnel records, identity thieves have created all sorts of innovative and creative ways to get your information.
Some of the more prominent ways your credit identity can be stolen include:
- Stuffing – creating false websites that look like commonly used websites in order to obtain login and other personal information
- Phishing – pretending to be financial institutions (your bank, PayPal, etc.) or well-known companies in order to get you to reveal your personal information
- Hacking – exploiting weakness in a computer system either easily through unsecured Wi-Fi networks (think coffee shops) or more elaborate breaches into semi-secured websites
Signs that your identity could be compromised:
- There are withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You stop getting bills or other mail. You get calls from debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
Credit Card Fraud
The most common type of identity theft is credit card fraud. Identity thieves can steal credit card information in one of three ways.
Through transactions such as online purchases that don’t require a physical card, called ‘card-not-present’ fraud. Through an account takeover where they take control of a bank account or card number and make unauthorized transactions. Through using your personal identifying information to obtain a new card in your name.
One of the biggest issues with credit card fraud is that it happens quickly and painfully, with the identity thief running up credit balances and wringing out as much as they can before you even have a clue it’s happening.
Credit scores are determined by four main factors, when unknown fraud occurs you can take a hit on all four of these determinations, leading your score to drop hundreds of points before you’re even aware.
So how is your score determined and how can you lose points?
- Payment History - Your payment history is the biggest factor impacting your credit score. And, there’s a pretty good chance that the person who stole your card or obtained a new one in your name isn’t going to foot the bill either. A missed payment of at least 30 days could lead to up to 100 points taken off our score. Even if you report the fraudulent charge early it could take weeks for everything to straighten out again.
- Credit Utilization - Or your overall debt owed, is calculated by the ratio of your credit card balances to your credit limit, the bigger the debt the lower your score. Again, it’s very unlikely that an identity thief will care how much debt they're accumulating in your name.
- Length of Credit History - If you’ve had cards open for years and paid your bills on time this shows that you’re a responsible card owner, but if an identity thief opens up new lines of credit the average age of your credit accounts shorten, which can lead to a drop in your score.
- Credit Inquiries - When you apply to open a new line of credit, finance a car or a home, or rent an apartment, the creditor will typically perform a credit inquiry, if there are too many inquiries in a short period of time aka your fraudster opens up many credit cards under your name this will adversely impact your credit score.
Why Invest in Credit Monitoring Protection?
Though you could monitor your own credit once a year by requesting your free annual report, more and more people are taking the proactive approach to credit protection by investing in credit monitoring protection plans or even going further than just credit monitoring with identity theft protection plans.
What’s the difference? Well, credit monitoring services will often track either one, two, or all three major credit bureaus/credit report agencies (CRAs) depending on the plan you select. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Why would you need a three-bureau credit monitoring plan? Mostly this ensures thoroughness as not all of the financial institutions you do business with report back to all three of the major CRAs. It comes down to a personal preference on how much credit information you want tracked.
Credit monitoring protection typically tracks your applications for new credit, your payment history and the amount of debt you have, and doesn’t quite cover the whole scope of identity theft insurance and protection that’s available. That’s where we come in to help.
IDShield offers the most comprehensive coverage out there including:
- Credit Monitoring - We monitor your credit reports and provide instant fraud alerts about any changes related to 12 key elements of identity theft and fraudulent activity.
- Social Security Number Monitoring - Our system will alert you as soon as it finds anything suspicious and our licensed private investigators can run advanced SSN Skip Trace searches to uncover hidden theft and fraud.
- Dark Web Monitoring - We use intelligent analytics to continuously monitor the Dark Web to make sure your information is not being used for any nefarious or suspicious activities.
- Social Media Scanning - Our scans analyze your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram pictures, posts and comments for information that could damage your reputation and prevent you from being hired by employers.
- Solicitation Reduction - Our Licensed Private Investigators are available to help you reduce the number of unsolicited offers for credit cards, insurance policies and more.
- Unlimited Consultation - As a member, you can speak with an ID theft specialist to get advice about any theft or fraud concerns as often as you need — there is no limit, we offer as much help as you need, no matter what.
- Licensed Investigator - If you are a victim of identity theft, fraud or other financial crimes, our U.S.-based, licensed private investigators will work under a Power of Attorney to restore your identity and reputation to its former position.
Over half of all active consumers will experience some form of identity theft this year. Protect yourself now and avoid future stresses, headaches, and financial issues that come from identity theft and fraud.
We work to preserve the health of your credit.