Active credit monitoring won't prevent thieves from stealing your personal information, but it will tell you if someone has set up new lines of credit (credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc.) without your knowledge. Address changes or delinquencies on your credit history may also indicate if someone has diverted an existing account. Finding out about these types of changes can help you stop an ID theft incident before it becomes too serious.

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The simplest way to monitor your credit is to check your credit statements daily for unfamiliar charges. For the most active monitoring of your credit history, you can subscribe to a credit monitoring service. These services alert you when there has been a change in your credit history, typically with an alert sent via email.
  • The three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Trans Union) and their affiliates provide this service for a monthly or annual fee. 
  • The cost is typically around $15 per month, but may be bundled with other services like credit scores, so prices may vary. 
  • Keep in mind that it is also important to check your credit report at least once a year, and to close accounts listed as still active that have been out of use for an extended period of time. An unused account offers a great deal of opportunity to an identity thief.

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