Credit monitoring services track and tell you about changes to one or more credit reports. Each of the major credit bureaus sells credit monitoring directly to consumers and also to other companies that resell it to you. Credit monitoring can be useful to identify errors in your credit reports and changes to your credit score (when that is included). Unfortunately, there are several reasons why credit monitoring is not terribly useful at combating identity theft.
Many people mistakenly believe that credit monitoring will prevent identity theft but this is wrong. Because credit reports themselves only contain historical information, monitoring tells you about activity after it has happened. That is why credit monitoring may help notify you about identity theft but credit monitoring will not prevent identity theft. Thinking that credit monitoring will help you prevent identity theft is like thinking you can drive a car safely while looking at the rear view mirror. You need to watch what’s ahead, not what you have passed.
Another limitation is that credit monitoring only monitors your credit reports not your identity. Credit reports only contain about 13% or about 1 out of 8 identity transactions which means that most types of identity fraud will never show up on your credit report or be detected by credit monitoring.
When someone opens a bank account, applies for a job, rents an apartment, receives medical care, applies for insurance or makes a claim, applies for a driver’s license or an income tax refund, these types of activities are not usually recorded on your credit report.
MyProfyle allows any organization to verify your identity and we notify you immediately if you are our member. While no network covers all organizations or transactions, only MyProfyle is available to everyone without any of the permanent limitations of credit bureaus and other closed networks.
How MyProfyle Protects You
Example: When an employer receives a job application from someone claiming to be you and tells us, MyProfyle can tell you about it and help confirm that this is really you. If you recognize the activity, you can approve it immediately and if you do not, you can stop the fraud before it starts.
We keep your sensitive identity information confidential, and we also tell this employer about risk factors known only to you like a recent lost wallet or identity fraud incident that tells the employer to take extra care with you. Only MyProfyle can do all of this.
As we explained elsewhere, credit reports are created when creditors submit information about your account payment history to credit bureaus. Most adults with credit in their own name have one or more credit reports, but if you are a minor child or student who has not established your own credit, then you are unlikely to have a credit report with any of the credit bureaus.
Do you see the problem here? Credit monitoring cannot monitor a report that does not exist. Many young people cannot get credit monitoring but they can still be harmed by identity theft. Unfortunately, this means that many young people do not find out about identity theft until years after it has happened – often when they are trying to apply for a student loan, a credit card, a first apartment or job. Identity theft can slam the brakes on these important activities just as young people are getting started in life.
There are people in the United States who do not have a social security number or a credit history. These are often immigrants living in the United States but they can also be the elderly. They too can become victims of identity theft and have accounts opened using their identity. One example of this is where the name, date of birth and address of one person is combined with the social security number of another person. This identity fraud can create chaos for the victim that is not detected by credit file monitoring.
American credit reports contain information supplied by American creditors. Of course, you and your identity can both travel around the world. If your identity is used to commit fraud in another country, this is unlikely to be detected by credit monitoring.
Today we know that many hackers and data breaches originate outside the United States where cybercrime is a business that is not prosecuted. With little change of being caught or jailed, these hackers steal, sell and use American identities with impunity. You may wonder why you should care if your identity is used to defraud a bank in Germany or obtain a driver’s license in Japan, but what if a serious crime is committed using your identity and you end up on the equivalent of a “no fly list” or travel to one of these countries and are arrested for these crimes?
As we have shown, credit monitoring has some uses, particularly for those who are trying to raise their credit score, but it does not prevent identity theft and cannot detect the majority of fraud or protect a large number of people including children.
MyProfyle’s Free For Life Identity Protection™ is different. We operate an open network where any person can join and any legitimate organization use us to verify an identity. No network, including ours, tracks every consumer, organization and transaction but every other network has limitations that create permanent blind spots that can you leave you and your family vulnerable to identity fraud.