We’ve Ranked The Best Rated Credit Monitoring Services!

Does subscribing to credit monitoring services make sense? Well, in this day and age of the internet where identity theft has become rampant, it makes sense to obtain some sort of credit protection. Consider these staggering stastistics:

  • Every year over 1 in 10 americans will become a victim of identity theft or credit fraud, and the annual trend is getting worse. Average losses incurred are said to be over $5000 per individual. This is when you rely solely on paper statements to monitor your credit. For all we know your personal information may have already been compromised. It’s just that this stolen data which contains your personal information hasn’t been actively used by the identity thieves as of yet. It’s just a matter of time before they do… (*You can always read more details here regarding the shocking facts & statistics of identity theft*)
  • On the otherhand, studies have shown how those who utilize credit monitoring services only reach losses of around 1/10th of that amount ($500+) because they’re quickly alerted to any fraudulent credit activity. And since pretty much all credit monitoring services have identity theft insurance in place, any losses you’d incur from identity theft or credit fraud is quickly recovered. In essence, you lose $0.

Out of the many free trial best credit monitoring + identity theft protection services you’ll come across on the net, we rate these as the TOP offers, based on quality of service, features, and overall customer feedback. If it’s not on this chart, then it didn’t make the grade.

Offer Name: Our Rating:
Free Credit Scores Received: Credit Bureaus Monitored: Trial Period: Benefits:


See Offer

ALL 3 SCORES:
TransUnion
Equifax
Experian
TransUnion
Equifax
Experian
Free 7-day Trial
$29.95/mo thereafter
3 Bureau Credit Monitoring. All Free 3 Credit Scores.


See Offer

Single Credit Score TransUnion
Equifax
Experian
Free 7-day Trial
$17.95/mo thereafter
3 Bureau Credit Monitoring.


See Offer

Single Credit Score TransUnion
Equifax
Experian
Free 7-day Trial
$29.95/mo thereafter
3 Bureau Credit Monitoring.


See Offer

Single Credit Score TransUnion
Equifax
Experian
Free 7-day Trial
$29.95/mo thereafter
3 Bureau Credit Monitoring.

How We Rate These Services

Key Factor #1. Comprehensive Credit Monitoring – This is obviously an important factor in seeing which service is good. You want the best and most comprehensive credit monitoring and identity theft protection service for maximum protection. Pretty much all of the Top services will have 3 bureau credit monitoring.

Key Factor #2. Free Credit Scores Received – Pretty much all of the top rated credit monitoring + identity theft protection services allow you to see your credit score(s) for free during their trial period. Some let you see all 3 scores. Also, their trial period varies.

Key Factor #3. Overall Customer Feedback – Last but not least, you want to sign up with a service which enjoys the best customer service and customer satisfaction ratings.

About Credit Monitoring Services

Does subscribing to credit monitoring services make sense? Well, consider these facts: Over 1 in 10 americans will become a victim of identity theft or credit fraud. Average losses incurred are said to be over $5000 per individual. This is when you rely solely on paper statements to monitor your credit. On the otherhand, studies have shown how those who utilize credit monitoring services only reach losses of around 1/10th of that amount ($500+) because they’re quickly alerted to any fraudulent credit activity. And since pretty much all credit monitoring services have some sort of identity theft insurance in place (up to $1 million in some cases), any losses you’d incur from identity theft or credit fraud is quickly recovered.

About Credit Scores

Credit scores are used by different financial institutions, lenders, and creditors. Credit scores reflect your creditworthiness. It is used to determine if you will be approved for a loan request. It also determines your loan interest rates. If you have a bad credit score, the higher interest rate would usually mean that you’ll end up paying higher monthly payments for the same loan amount, compared to someone who has an excellent credit score. The data from your credit report is used to figure out your scores using particular algorithmic equations.

About Free Credit Reports

Free credit reports from all 3 bureaus on the other hand records loan payment obligations of your various credit or loan accounts. Accounts listed usually include mortgage loans, credit card balances, auto loan accounts, and personal loans, but they are not limited to these. Any loan obligations are usually reported by the creditors to one or all of the 3 credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They do offer your credit report for free once an year. This is what’s often called ‘free government credit report’ or annual credit report. Each of these credit agencies will also provide you with a credit score but you’ll have to pay for them.

*original article courtesy of free credit score government.

Identity Theft Shocking Facts

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today. Well over 200 million personal data records were lost or exposed in the United States just in the last two years, and the problem keeps growing. Every four seconds someone’s identity is stolen. For all we know your personal information may have already been compromised. It’s just that this stolen data which contains your personal information hasn’t been “activated” yet by the identity thieves. But it’s only a matter of time before it gets used..

Consider These Staggering Statistics:

* Identity theft hits 1 in 4 US households
* Over 79 million identities stolen in the past 12 months & 3 million social security numbers illegally traded online
* Over $52 Billion in damages to individuals & businesses
* Identity thieves open credit card accounts, cell phone accounts, utility accounts, bank accounts, and apartment rentals.
* Identity theft victims fail to discover any problems until 12 months after their identities are used by thieves.
* Identity theft victims who detected the crime by monitoring their accounts had average loses of $551. Those who relied on monitoring paper statements had average loses of $4,543.
* Recently more than 55 million Americans were put at risk by security breaches, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. And that was a very conservative estimate. Some of the “famous” big breaches are often reported in the news, but many “smaller” breaches don’t get reported on the news.

How Do Identity Thieves Steal Your Information?

Identity theft can occur in a variety of ways. Thieves can steal your social security or credit card numbers, then change the address on your bills. They then use your information to impersonate you, buying or renting products or using your personal information to commit criminal acts. Most damaging of all, you often don’t know you’re a victim of this federal crime until months later, when you are unexpectedly turned down for a loan or get a call from a collection agency about an account you never opened. You might even get a call from the police about a crime you didn’t commit. Once identity theft happens to you, it can take many months and thousands of dollars to restore your credit.

Identity Thieves Will:

* Go through your mail or trash, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and tax information.
* Steal personal information from your wallet or purse such as identification cards, credit cards, or bank cards.
* Fill out change-of-address forms to redirect your mail.
* Acquire personal information you share on unsecured sites on the Internet.
* Buy personal information about you from an inside source. A store employee gets your information from a credit application or by skimming your credit card information when you make a purchase.
* Obtain your personnel records at work.

How Is Your Personal Information Used By ID Thieves?

* They open new credit card accounts using your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. When they use the credit cards and don’t pay the bills, the delinquency may be reported on your credit report.
* They establish phone or cellular service in your name.
* They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on the account.
* They counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
* They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
* They call your credit card issuer and, pretend to be you, changing the address on the account. Bills get sent to the new address, so you may not realize there’s a problem until you check your credit report.
* They file for bankruptcy using your name to avoid paying debts they’ve incurred under your name.

People Are Turning To Credit Monitoring Services Again In Droves

Considering how identity thieves steal and use your personal information and how difficult it is to stop it, many individuals and organizations are turning to credit monitoring services and for good reason:

*Quick Detection of Credit Fraud: Identity theft victims who relied on monitoring paper statements had average loses of $4,543. As mentioned early on, most id theft victims won’t even know they’ve been victimized until several months to an year later. Yet those who used credit monitoring services were quickly alerted to such fraudulent activity at 1/10 that amount ($551). (And even that smaller amount was quickly recovered via the credit monitoring service’s ID Theft Insurance policy!).

* Insurance Protection & Speedy Financial Reimbursements: Any losses incurred if you become a victim is covered thru the credit monitoring service with their Identity Theft Insurance Policy, often to the tune of $25,000, $50,000 or more to help you clean up the mess that an identity thief might cause. With investigators and case managers called upon to aid you with your recovery. This is something you won’t easily muster on your own unless you want to spend several thousands for that privilege, not to mention the daunting time & effort filing theft reports, etc.

But Aren’t Credit Monitoring Services Just A Big Scam?

No, not at all. But what I think these services shouldn’t have done was to overly promote “the sizzle before the steak” to market their services. The “sizzle” was the ‘free credit scores’ you’ve get if you tried them out. It gave some people a bad aftertaste. But IMHO such marketing tactics aren’t really necessary anymore, especially in this day and age when identity theft has become rampant. All they really need to do today is to lay out their features and benefits in plain sight (i.e. the ‘Steak’). The quick fraud detection + an insurance policy for any financial losses + the powerful assistance to help restore your good name and credit standing, etc. People will definitely see the value in what they have to offer. In fact they ARE seeing the real value (the “Steak”) which explains why there’s this rush right now to sign up with these services. 😉

But I Can Monitor My Credit On My Own..Right?

Hmmm…really? I think that’s one of the biggest myths that gets thrown around by alot of these so-called credit “experts”. Right now you’re only able to access your credit report for free once per year. (Coincides with how victims of identity theft didn’t realize they were victimized for over 12 months…). And sure, you can monitor your EXISTING credit cards, bank accounts, etc, online. But identity thieves usually open up new accounts. Accounts that you never knew existed until you’ve realized you became a victim of identity theft…12 months later.

So Which Credit Monitoring Service Should I Try?

There’s quite a few out there. But the one’s we’re currently recommending are Identity Guard, FreeScore360, MyFreeScoreNow, and FreeScoreConnect. We believe they’re the best of the lot, based on the customer reviews we’ve read, features, etc. (Here’s a Credit Monitoring Comparison Chart that compares their features.).

Identity Theft Shocking Statistics

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today. Well over 200 million personal data records were lost or exposed in the United States just in the last two years, and the problem keeps growing. Every four seconds someone’s identity is stolen. For all we know your personal information may have already been compromised. It’s just that this stolen data which contains your personal information hasn’t been “activated” yet by the identity thieves. But it’s only a matter of time before it gets used..

Consider These Staggering Statistics:

* Identity theft hits 1 in 4 US households
* Over 79 million identities stolen in the past 12 months & 3 million social security numbers illegally traded online
* Over $52 Billion in damages to individuals & businesses
* Identity thieves open credit card accounts, cell phone accounts, utility accounts, bank accounts, and apartment rentals.
* Identity theft victims fail to discover any problems until 12 months after their identities are used by thieves.
* Identity theft victims who detected the crime by monitoring their accounts had average loses of $551. Those who relied on monitoring paper statements had average loses of $4,543.
* Recently more than 55 million Americans were put at risk by security breaches, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft. And that was a very conservative estimate. Some of the “famous” big breaches are often reported in the news, but many “smaller” breaches don’t get reported on the news.

How Do Identity Thieves Steal Your Information?

Identity theft can occur in a variety of ways. Thieves can steal your social security or credit card numbers, then change the address on your bills. They then use your information to impersonate you, buying or renting products or using your personal information to commit criminal acts. Most damaging of all, you often don’t know you’re a victim of this federal crime until months later, when you are unexpectedly turned down for a loan or get a call from a collection agency about an account you never opened. You might even get a call from the police about a crime you didn’t commit. Once identity theft happens to you, it can take many months and thousands of dollars to restore your credit.

Identity Thieves Will:

* Go through your mail or trash, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and tax information.
* Steal personal information from your wallet or purse such as identification cards, credit cards, or bank cards.
* Fill out change-of-address forms to redirect your mail.
* Acquire personal information you share on unsecured sites on the Internet.
* Buy personal information about you from an inside source. A store employee gets your information from a credit application or by skimming your credit card information when you make a purchase.
* Obtain your personnel records at work.

How Is Your Personal Information Used By ID Thieves?

* They open new credit card accounts using your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. When they use the credit cards and don’t pay the bills, the delinquency may be reported on your credit report.
* They establish phone or cellular service in your name.
* They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on the account.
* They counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
* They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
* They call your credit card issuer and, pretend to be you, changing the address on the account. Bills get sent to the new address, so you may not realize there’s a problem until you check your freeannualcreditreport (freescorereportgov.com).
* They file for bankruptcy using your name to avoid paying debts they’ve incurred under your name.

People Are Turning To Credit Monitoring Services Again In Droves

Considering how identity thieves steal and use your personal information and how difficult it is to stop it, many individuals and organizations are turning to credit monitoring services and for good reason:

*Quick Detection of Credit Fraud: Identity theft victims who relied on monitoring paper statements had average loses of $4,543. As mentioned early on, most id theft victims won’t even know they’ve been victimized until several months to an year later. Yet those who used credit monitoring services were quickly alerted to such fraudulent activity at 1/10 that amount ($551). (And even that smaller amount was quickly recovered via the credit monitoring service’s ID Theft Insurance policy!).

* Insurance Protection & Speedy Financial Reimbursements: Any losses incurred if you become a victim is covered thru the credit monitoring service with their Identity Theft Insurance Policy, often to the tune of $25,000, $50,000 or more to help you clean up the mess that an identity thief might cause. With investigators and case managers called upon to aid you with your recovery. This is something you won’t easily muster on your own unless you want to spend several thousands for that privilege, not to mention the daunting time & effort filing theft reports, etc.

But Aren’t Credit Monitoring Services Just A Big Scam?

No, not at all. But what I think these services shouldn’t have done was to overly promote “the sizzle before the steak” to market their services. The “sizzle” was the ‘free credit scores’ you’ve get if you tried them out. It gave some people a bad aftertaste. But IMHO such marketing tactics aren’t really necessary anymore, especially in this day and age when identity theft has become rampant. All they really need to do today is to lay out their features and benefits in plain sight (i.e. the ‘Steak’). The quick fraud detection + an insurance policy for any financial losses + the powerful assistance to help restore your good name and credit standing, etc. People will definitely see the value in what they have to offer. In fact they ARE seeing the real value (the “Steak”) which explains why there’s this rush right now to sign up with these services. 😉

But I Can Monitor My Credit On My Own..Right?

Hmmm…really? I think that’s one of the biggest myths that gets thrown around by alot of these so-called credit “experts”. Right now you’re only able to access your credit report for free once per year. (Coincides with how victims of identity theft didn’t realize they were victimized for over 12 months…). And sure, you can monitor your EXISTING credit cards, bank accounts, etc, online. But identity thieves usually open up new accounts. Accounts that you never knew existed until you’ve realized you became a victim of identity theft…12 months later.

So Which Credit Monitoring Service Should I Try?

There’s quite a few out there. But the one’s we’re currently recommending are always listed here: Credit Monitoring Comparison Chart.

*original article courtesy of FreeScoreReportGov.com.

Congressman Delaney Hosts Identity Theft Forum (PHOTOS)

Congressman Delaney Hosts Identity Theft Forum (PHOTOS)
Congressman John Delaney Identity Theft and Fraud Protection Forum at BlackRock July 16 4 Over 275 people attended an identity theft and fraud prevention forum on Thursday night in Germantown. The standing-room only event at the BlackRock Center for …
Read more on Montgomery Community Media

Police offer tips for identity theft protection during All-Star Week
"We can only protect you so far, but you've got to also take protection to the next level yourself. If you don't have to have a large purse, don't take a large purse. Take only what you need. Take cash, take a credit card, take your ID and keep that …
Read more on WLWT Cincinnati

Latest Identity Theft Cover News

Austin's workplace provides some suggestions with regards to Anthem and identification theft security
In light of this recent cyber assault on Anthem, I wanted to pass along some information with respect to identification theft security solutions. Existing and former Anthem members can visit AnthemFacts.com for more information on credit tracking and identity …
Find out more on Roanoke Instances

Do something to protect against identity theft
A number of businesses impacted by current information breaches have actually provided no-cost credit monitoring and/or identification theft defense solutions to affected consumers. Customers must look into using these provides — but should very first take care to …
Find out more on Day-to-day Record

Identity Protection Theft Tips

Identity theft is something that you cannot prevent 100%. Many times your personal information is in the hands of others and therefore you cannot completely keep your information safe. However, you do have some control over the situation. You can ensure that nobody will steal your identity on your watch.

Dealing With Reputable Companies

While you cannot control what happens when you are working with companies, lenders and others who have your personal information, you do have control over who you do business with. You should always check into a company before doing business with them and before handing over any of your personal information.

You should check out a company with the Better Business Bureau and make sure that they have no outstanding complaints related to identity protection theft. Check into the ways that they keep your private information protected and ensure they are set up to deal with a problem with identity protection theft should it arise.

While you do not have a lot of control over your personal information when it is in the hands of a company, you can make sure that you do everything possible to ensure that, that company will treat your personal information with care.

Handle With Care

You also have to be responsible yourself. You have to do everything possible to ensure that you do not let someone get a hold of your personal information and steal your identity. Some things you can do are simple common sense, but many times people make careless mistakes and this is what an identity thief is waiting for.

A major rule, that every debit card issuer tells you, is not to carry your pin number with your card. Still, many people do not follow this rule. It would be so simple for someone to find the card with the pin written on it and use it. It is simple. Just do not keep your pin number with your card.

Another simple thing you can do is to not toss mail or other personal papers that have any sensitive information on them. Shred all documents. It may surprise you to find out that many identity thieves get their information by going through the trash.

Also be careful online. While shopping online is actually very secure, there are other ways that being online can get you in trouble. Never give out personal information through an email. Never follow email links to websites. Instead type the address in the browser. Scam emails are all too common of a way that thieves operate.

Finally, be prepared. Keep the phone numbers for the customer service lines for every credit card and bank account that you have on hand. This way if your wallet or purse gets stolen then you can start making calls to put holds on all your accounts.

In general, to protect yourself from identity theft you have to be proactive. You need to watch out for yourself in everything that you do. You must be smart about how your handle your personal information and always have an eye out for someone who may be trying to steal your identity.

Rod from Identity Protection Search provides help and guidance for your Identity Theft Protection

U.S. Consumers Interest in Debit Card Services Could Yield Up to $700K Revenue Potential per 100K Cards per Service


Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 13, 2014

The most recent Insight Report from Mercator Advisory Groups CustomerMonitor Survey Series reveals that while debit card use is holding steady, there is a significant opportunity for issuers to increase card activation and stimulate greater debit card transaction volume by offering new value-added services. The report, Consumers and Debit in the U.S.: Rising Demand for New Services, presents the findings of an online survey of 3,002 U.S. adults conducted in June 2014.

Consumers are demanding more services for their debit cards if they are to activate and use them more often. Concerns about security, particularly online, and lack of rewards are potential inhibitors to greater debit card use, states Karen Augustine, author of the report and manager of Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group, which includes the CustomerMonitor Survey Series.

More than 50% of respondents expressed interest in a valuable debit card rewards program and enhanced security, found to be the two most desirable services for debit cards of the eight the survey listed, and nearly 50% would be willing to pay for these services.

Consumer interest is growing in every value-added service asked about in both 2014 and 2013 survey, and this years respondents are more willing to pay for each service, with security and identity theft protection topping the list.

Mercator Advisory Group projects the gross revenue potential for each service for a portfolio of 100,000 debit cards based on these responses. The services with the greatest gross revenue potential are found to be enhanced security and identity theft protection, collision/damage waiver and personal liability insurance for auto rentals, and travel insurance, each estimated to be capable of generating nearly $ 700,000 of revenue for issuers based on a 100,000 debit card portfolio. A significant portion of this revenue is expected to come from debit card holders who do not currently use their debit card, but will use it to obtain these services.

The study also examines the topics highlighted below.

Highlights of this report include:


Year-over-year trending of payment type used in households, including debit card use in the U.S. and the ways that consumers use debit cards

Ownership of EMV chip cards by type, use in U.S. and abroad where chip cards are recognized and experience in using the chip cards

Comparison of debit card ownership to debit card use

A shift in demographics of debit cardholders

Use of person-to-person payments and online payment services by brand and primary reasons for using online payment services

Comparison of use of financial institutions of specific payment services with use of alternative services initiated in supermarkets, discount stores, and other outlets

Account opening experiences, awareness of new fees on checking accounts, and reactions to these fees

Cash spending and reasons for cash use

The report is 70 pages long and contains 35 exhibits

Members of Mercator Advisory Group CustomerMonitor Survey Series Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits.

Please visit us online at http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com.

For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group’s main line: (781) 419-1700

For free industry news, opinions, research, company information and more visit us at http://www.PaymentsJournal.com.

About Mercator Advisory Group

Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world’s largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal PaymentsJournal.com.