Kemp Harvest Financial Group recently provided an Identity Theft Webinar during this time of quarantine from the Coronavirus outbreak and we will continue to provide education and information on financial topics that help you. In today’s blog post, we’d like to provide you with a look at the options for credit monitoring in today’s marketplace and hopefully, this will help you better analyze your needs in this area.
Credit monitoring services can help stop fraud and identity theft in its tracks. Further, identity theft can negatively impact you in a number of ways, including credit cards taken out in your name, improper charges, and damage to your credit score. Credit monitoring services can help monitor your credit reports and credit scores from all three credit bureaus to help you catch and possibly prevent suspicious or fraudulent activity. Using a credit monitoring service can help you keep tabs on your credit and avoid identity theft.
Shopping for a credit monitoring service can seem intimidating. Not sure where to start? Below are a few credit monitoring services that can help you stay on top of your credit report. While we do not endorse any single company, here is a summary of some of the services available.
LifeLock offers a range of services including Social Security number and credit alerts, dark web monitoring, and suspicious activity alerts. Their unique service also offers different LifeLock packages including monitoring for children and seniors.
LifeLock offers three packages based on your credit needs: LifeLock Standard, LifeLock Advantage, and LifeLock Ultimate Plus. Prices will change based on package selection, check here for current package prices.
IdentityForce offers the basic credit monitor services plus more. Based on the package you choose, IdentityForce can check for public information record changes, address changes, court records, and payday loan applications. There is also an available mobile app that can monitor your smartphone for spyware, unsecured Wi-Fi locations, and “spoof” networks. IdentityForce offers various packages based on your need. You can find more information on the packages here.
Identity Guard’s greatest offer is their utilization of IBM’s Watson. Watson is an IBM supercomputer that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and refined analytical software to answer questions. Earlier versions of Watson have won games of “Jeopardy” and can even assist doctors with difficult diagnoses. Identity Guard has implemented their own version of Watson curtailed to focus on identity theft. Identity Guard also offers a risk management score, a dedicated case manager, and their mobile application included with all plans. Prices for their plans can be viewed here.
Complete ID provides an annual credit report from all three agencies – most credit monitoring services do not offer this. This service also provides a comprehensive graph that displays your score’s growth over time. In addition to credit services, Complete ID also offers a neighborhood watch feature that can provide details on crimes in your area.
Offered through Costco, store members cause use Complete ID’s services at a discounted price. Non-Costco members can still use this credit monitoring but plan prices may increase. Plan prices can be viewed here.
Referring to their service as “True Identity Protection,” ID Watchdog focuses on the aftermath of identity theft. ID Watchdog offers “100% identity theft resolution” but of course there is some fine print. The company may only help if it detects a new fraud incident while you are an active customer. They cannot guarantee that you’ll receive any money lost, but they can provide access to its “Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists” team.
ID Watchdog offers two plans that can be purchased monthly or annually. Both plans offer basic credit monitoring services. Plan prices can be viewed here.
McAfee Identity Theft Protection Standard
McAfee offers a cyber-monitoring service that can scan for credit activity and alert you about suspicious activity. This monitoring service also offers social media monitoring, Social Security number (SSN) trace, lost wallet, and ID restoration. Currently, McAfee’s Essential and Standard packages only offer credit monitoring for Experian – the Plus package will need to be purchased for all three bureau credit features. McAfee’s plans can be viewed here.
When considering a credit monitoring service, you may want to consider your current needs and what you can afford so you can choose the option that best suits your needs. Doing your research can help you avoid overpaying for a service that you may not fully use. Whether you’re concerned about your credit score or avoiding identity theft, there is a credit monitoring service out there for you.
NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. These individuals or outside entities are not affiliated with, nor endorsed by LPL Financial. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.
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