Each identity theft protection service is a little bit different, but most of them offer the same kinds of features and benefits.
Unfortunately, what criminals are doing is getting a hold of people's personal information like their social security number, their date of birth or even just an address and using that information to open up credit cards, loans and other accounts in that person's name. Since identity theft involves criminals opening up brand new accounts, the crime isn't going to show up on your credit card statements or on your bills.
That's a common misconception that many people have. The only place this specific crime is going to appear is on your credit report. It's important to look at your credit report regularly to make sure there isn't anything on it that you did not authorize or anything you don't recognize. The great thing about these programs is that many of them offer an initial credit report for your review upon enrollment with the service, and also send you quarterly updates so you can keep track of what's going on with your credit file.
Now, you can get a free copy of your credit report once a year, but the reason having an identity theft protection service in place is so beneficial is that they will generally cover any lawyer fees or other expenses incurred if you do become a victim. That way you won't have to dip into your savings or anything to pay for the cost of fixing any problems.
Many programs will also monitor your credit file every single day so that if someone does try to use any of your personal information, like your name or social security number to open a new account, you'll be contacted right away. You'll also have help in correcting any errors and preventing fraudulent activity so criminals won't have the chance to rack up debt in your name and ruin your good credit.
Identity theft protection programs offer wonderful benefits and can give you peace of mind because you'll know you're covered if a thief does use your personal information.