Identity theft protection company LifeLock has been making headlines lately because it will become a publicly traded company October 3. This isn’t an investing column, so I’m not writing about whether you should try to get in on this IPO. As a money-saving-advice columnist, I’m writing about whether you should pay for the services that LifeLock (or any other identity protection service) offers.
Year after year, identity theft tops the list of consumer complaints tracked by the Federal Trade Commission. According to the most-recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 9 million households had at least one member who was a victim of identity theft in 2010, and losses due to identity theft totaled $13.3 billion.
Monitor your credit. Each year you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free copies. Rather than order all three at once, order from just one of the credit bureaus every four months so that you can monitor your credit history throughout the year. Look for any mistakes or accounts that don’t belong to you. If you find any problems, see How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report for advice on filing a dispute with the credit bureau.
Keep tabs on your credit score. For just $8, you can get your credit score from the credit bureaus when you order your free credit report at myFICO.com for $19.95 you can get your FICO credit score, which is based on your credit history and is the score lenders typically use when determining whether to give you a loan or offer you a credit card.
Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/credit/T048-C011-S001-how-to-get-free-identity-theft-protection.html#43KSmxdA720mEIkq.99