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It helps to have friends. If you've ever lost your wallet or had your purse stolen, you know how very scared and alone you can feel in such times. Wouldn't it be comforting if you knew exactly who to call to take care of things and prevent your identity from being stolen? Identity theft protection services work closely with their clients to minimize their risk of victimization.  Vigilance is crucial for preventing identity theft. Protection service providers get their clients enrolled in credit monitoring services that will alert them when changes are made to their credit reports. They also help clients work with credit bureaus to place a freeze on their credit. That makes it impossible for anyone to open a new line of credit in the client's name until the freeze is lifted. Credit freezes can be temporary or ongoing. Prescreened credit offers are commonly used to obtain personal information. Identity thieves steal these letters from mailboxes or dig them out of trash cans, then use them to obtain new credit cards in the victim's name. Identity theft protection services get card issuers to stop sending unsolicited offers to their clients. They also get their clients' names removed from prescreened insurance offers and other junk mail lists. When prescreened offers stop arriving, clients are less likely to be the target of an identity thief. When credit cards and important documents are lost or stolen, identity theft can soon follow. It's a hassle to hunt down every number that needs to be called, every government agency and creditor who needs to be notified. People who subscribe to an identity theft protection service don't have to jump through hoops to rectify the situation. Instead, they simply call their personal agent. The agent takes care of the notifications, cancels missing credit cards, and places a fraud alert on the client's credit report. Most services have a full team of accountants and lawyers who will go the extra mile to help clients reclaim their identity and repair their credit. Identity theft is a serious crime that leaves victims feeling scared and violated. Identity theft protection services help their clients through every step of identity theft prevention and repair. If you're worried that you might be the victim of identity theft, contact one of these services and put your mind at ease. The identity theft protection industry has really evolved so do your research; the products, services, and approaches vary wildly.

Sarah P. Miller is the senior editor for a site designed to give consumers in-depth reviews and comparisons of top identity theft solutions including Lifelock, Equifax, TrustedID, and Identityguard.

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