Credit Monitoring Services does exactly what the name implies; they monitor your credit for you. They will monitor your credit history reported in your credit file and alert you of any changes via e-mail, phone or text. The exact action reported by your credit monitoring agency varies by company, but it can include the following
* Identity theft protection: Most credit monitoring services will screen incoming mail to look for viruses or other malicious material, looking for malicious codes that could harm you. They will also examine your incoming bills to make sure that all the payments reported to you are legitimate. If your bank account information is compromised, fraudsters will be able to withdraw from your account, freeze your account or take out loans in your name. Your social security number will also be at risk if you don’t use a secure connection when completing online transactions.
* Credit monitoring services monitor any changes made to your profile on social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. They may charge you a monthly fee to monitor these sites for you, and they may alert you if someone makes a post that could be considered fraudulent. They may report this to the relevant authorities or may notify you by mail, email or telephone. You should avoid responding to any posts made by spammers or hackers. If your account is hacked and you believe it may be the result of a theft, alert your local police and have them investigate the matter.
* Identity theft protection: Not only will your social security number be put at risk if your social security number or other personal information is compromised, but credit reports are also at high risk of being compromised. Identity thieves may steal your personal information by taking out loans in your name, using your credit card, or by using your social security number to apply for credit in your name. If your credit score has already been damaged, you may not be able to get another loan. A good credit monitoring service will keep an eye on your credit reports for you and notify you if any changes are made to your credit report. Notifying the proper authorities can stop any illegal activity on your credit reports.
* Fraudulent activity monitoring: Some people make use of fraudulent methods to obtain credit in your name, and these individuals may not be subject to laws such as identity theft protection. You can purchase credit monitoring services that will alert you when anyone requests your personal information online. This way you can protect yourself before any illegal activity takes place. If you suspect that someone is requesting your personal details for fraud, alert your local authorities or call the fraud hotline.
* Financial Data Protection: Most credit monitoring services offer financial data protection services to their clients. This is a protection service where they monitor the credit reports of clients to detect any improper or false information. It is very important for you to check your report to see that all the information included is correct. If there is incorrect or false information on your financial data protection report, you can immediately notify the credit reporting agency to have the information corrected. Your credit report can seriously damage your chances of obtaining loans, and it is therefore essential to ensure that all the relevant information is accurate.
* Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union are the three credit reporting agencies in the US. They regularly provide you with credit reports that contain important information about your financial activities. It is vital for you to check the information on your Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion reports to ensure that it is correct. These credit monitoring services to ensure that all the three agencies share a common database, which enables them to provide you with credit reports.
The three credit reporting agencies are required by law to provide you with free credit monitoring services. This allows you to request for your credit reports and keep track of your credit history. However, if you do not wish to keep a watch on your credit, you can choose to subscribe to one of the three paid credit monitoring services. You can view your reports every month for free and can take a look at any suspicious activity and take remedial action in case it applies to you.