Following up on a Consumer Reports article about what's a "waste of money", you don't have to spend big bucks when it comes to preventing identity theft. I've gotten after my husband a few times for signing up for the 5 dollar a month fee on our credit card to "protect our identity" - and that's because it's unnecessary. Credit cards typically will not hold you liable for unauthorized purchases.
Sure, you're also paying for advice should someone steal your credit information... but you can also get most of what you'd need to know for FREE! The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent site at www.consumer.gov
Your best bet is to prevent id theft before it happens. Here are a few tips:
- Check your bank/credit card statements online and regularly
- Check your credit report at least once a year. You can do that for free once a year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com
- And if you do become a victim, the credit bureaus will place a free 90 day fraud alert on your account. All you have to do is notify one, and they'll notify the others to do the same.