Monitor My ID

Self-Monitoring Identity Theft Overview and Strategy

First, sign-up for our free self-monitoring support service if you have not already, to be reminded when you need to take an action step to monitor your identity.  These reminders will reflect our self-monitoring strategy of getting information numerous times throughout the year on monitoring the activity being reported about you.

Monitoring the reports produced by “data aggregators” is the best way to detect if somebody is using your identity. Most people have heard of the three largest credit bureau data aggregators (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) but they have not heard of other data aggregators that track and report other “activities” that focus on other transactions including: medical treatment, check writing, rental history, criminal history, professional credentials, insurance claims, and much more.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) gives the consumer rights to receive an annual disclosure from many data base aggregators that collect and report information about you. The strategy is to review, on a regular basis, and discover any inaccurate or fraudulent information reported on you by these many various databases.

Step one will focus on getting your first of four free credit reports. Don’t get duped into “free credit report” services that actually have chargeable products and services unless you absolutely want the added features offered.  There is only one official website source for the three largest credit bureaus. And we provide direct links to a fourth credit bureau known as Innovis.  See Step One for more information.

Strategy: you are allowed one free report from each data aggregator a year.  Since the credit bureaus have similar information, our suggested strategy is to order your first credit report from just one of the three major credit bureaus. We recommend you start with the largest: Experian.  Then in 90 days come back and obtain your next credit report from Equifax.  Wait 90 more days and then return again and obtain your free credit report from TransUnion.  And finally, we recommend you get one more, for a total of four in all, from Innovis (which is not one of the choices on www.annualcreditreport.com).

If you are married, or have a similar financial relationship with another person, we suggest you stagger their free credit bureau reports by 45 days.

By following this strategy, you will be able to see if any suspicious activity is being reported on you every 90 days or 4 times each year.  And if married, every 45 days or 8 times each year.  Now this is not the same as having a service that alerts you immediately for suspicious activity, but it is about the best you can do without paying a monitoring fee.  Because we also introduce you to additional data aggregators, this strategy will give you even more monitoring opportunities to find suspicious activity involving your identity. We cover these other data aggregators in Step Four.

Fraud Alerts: You can gain added protection by placing a fraud alert with the credit bureaus.  They will do this if you feel your identity may be in jeopardy of being stolen or otherwise misused.  If you realize that over 500 million records have been lost or exposed to identity thieves since 2005,  you have reason enough to make this request.  The fraud alert will remain in place for 90 days.  Our self-monitoring support service will remind you when 90 days are up if you acted promptly in getting started by following our instructions.  You can also place a credit freeze on your file which lasts for years.  Each state has different freeze laws and fees associated with placing a credit freeze.  Call us for a free consultation regarding your circumstances as to whether a freeze may be your best choice or a nightmare.

To get started now, proceed to Step One.