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gg92026

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Identity Theft Protection
We have been victims of identity theft. Now everyone is trying to sell us identity theft protection. Which, if any, do you recommend? Is it worthwhile? Credit cards already protect against it....
Thanks!

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Don't spend money on ID theft protection.  Best way to protect yourself is to freeze your credit.  I did this 5 years ago and have never regretted it.  Go to each bureau's website (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and if you have a report on the ID theft, they'll freeze it for free.  Otherwise it is a small fee (5 or 10 bucks each bureau).  They'll give you a PIN number for each bureau, that way if you need to apply for credit you go to the bureau's website, enter your PIN and your credit is automatically "thawed" for 30 days.  I love it!

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Don't rely on a freeze

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A credit freeze is a good idea but far from perfect. It only protects against one type of identity theft - new account creation - and not fully. For example, identity thieves are now going to payday lenders for fraudulent loans, because most payday lenders don't run credit checks. So credit freezes, monitoring and alerts are of no value. A freeze doesn't protect against fraudulent payday loans, tax ID fraud, benefits fraud, criminal identity theft, Social Security fraud, bank account fraud/takeover, skimming, phishing etc.

Credit freezes also lead to complacancy. When people freeze their credit they think they're now safe and have nothing more to do.

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further protection options?

What else can someone do to further protect themself?

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