Sunday, March 30, 2014

When Credit Monitoring Just Doesn't Work

You know, on top of not being able to go shopping at Target anymore, can you imagine how frustrating it is for folks who frequent liquor stores like Specs? In addition to getting your purchase, you also get your identity stolen.
One of the biggest Texas liquor store chains has reported a security breach that exposed personal information of customers at some of its smaller stores. The Houston-based Spec's chain said in a Friday statement that the breach exposed data from Oct. 31, 2012 through March 20, 2014. Spec's said that, depending on individual circumstances, information exposed may include information from checks, credit, and debit cards.  However, most customers weren't affected and fewer than 5 percent of its transactions were hacked. The company says it's offering a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection to customers who may have been affected.
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Is that it? Really? It's just not enough anymore.
How can credit monitoring (or a credit freeze) protect you against this type of identity theft?
The simple answer is, “it cannot.” . . .Credit monitoring and credit freezes are effective when someone attempts to obtain new credit in your name—that process normally requires an identity thief to have your Social Security number (Assn) and date of birth in additional to your name. (Source)
while credit monitoring won’t, strictly speaking, prevent identity theft or related credit card/loan fraud, it does have the potential to alert you about unauthorized access to your personal information before you would otherwise notice a problem. (Source)
But, as a lowly consumer, what can you do except suffer identity theft when it happens? Unfortunately, it IS going to happen to you. Are you going to spend your life monitoring your credit? It's closing the barn door after the critters have fled. I wish there was a more proactive approach. Know of one?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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