Identity Monitoring: Credit Alerts Not Enough

Identity monitoring is more than just monitoring your credit.

Why do so many people believe that credit alerts will protect them from the ever-growing threat of identity theft? According to the Federal Trade Commission (, credit monitoring detects less than 20 percent of identity theft.

So why do we focus so much on Credit Reports?

Because most people have been misled to believe credit monitoring is the silver bullet to identity theft protection. What consumers need to know is that credit monitoring is only part of the solution.

I use an identity monitoring service because it provides multiple layers, or rings of protection (if you have ever seen one of my identity theft speeches, you know that I like multi-layer approaches):

  • Credit report monitoring, including monitoring of credit inquiries, delinquencies, judgments and liens, bankruptcies, new loans and more.
  • Court records monitoring to check for criminal actions associated with the subscriber’s name, birth date and / or Social Security number.
  • Public records monitoring to search for misuse of subscribers’ names and addresses affiliated with their Social Security numbers, address histories and any changes to the same.
  • Non-credit loans monitoring to check for short-term, high-interest payday loan activity that doesn’t require a credit inquiry.
  • Internet surveillance that monitors Web sites, chat rooms and bulletin boards for criminal selling and / or trading of subscribers’ personal information online.
  • Sex offender report searches that alert subscribers to sex offenders residing in their zip code and misuse of their identities by known offenders nationally.
  • Address change request monitoring to alert subscribers to any address change requests being filled for their address.

Protection services should be designed to catch identity theft as soon as possible, so the misuse of your identity can be stopped immediately. The average identity theft victim spends more than 300 hours trying to restore his or her identity.  As someone who spent more than 2 years recovering from identity theft, this is a no-brainer for me. Seriously consider signing yourself and your family up for identity monitoring.

John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproof yourself and your business, contact John directly on 800.258.8076.

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