I know signing up for fraud alert service will mean I will have to thaw them. That's not an issue - I don't mind.
Question (sorry if dumb): is there benefits to having fraud alert or other monitoring services given that all these are frozen to begin with? I am wondering about both, fraud alert services provided by the big 3 as well as services such as CreditKarma, Equifax's 1-year-free TrustedID Premier service, TransUnion's TrueIdentity, Credit Sesame, etc.
If thieves cannot open anything in my name anyway due to freezes, what beneficial alerts can I get?
I can see one downside for signing up: providing my private information to one more company that could be hacked.
[Update September 22, 2017]
Artsdoctor's reply here, helped me with this understanding...
While freeze prevents crooks from opening new accounts at NEW institutions, they might be able to do so at EXISTING ones (but see update below!). Thus,
(a) fraud alerts is the only thing that may help prevent such new account openings (since EXISTING institutions may see fraud alert now on the account, while accessing the credit reports)
(b) credit monitoring alerts help identifying such new accounts after-the-fact quicker than self-monitoring credit reports once a year
Is above understanding correct now?
Which leads me to another question ... what about OLD institutions? Do financial institutions that USED TO HAVE my accounts have access to my now-frozen credit reports (say if they retained enough information about me)?
[Update September 24, 2017]
A boglehead PMed me that in their (multi-year) experience, EXISTING institutions can only do soft pulls, while hard pulls still get denied (e.g. when increasing your limit or applying for new credit with them). In fact, a good technique to see if your freeze is working is to periodically try to up your credit limit by a little to make sure it gets denied.
I separately saw that some institutions (e.g. Bank of America) may approve you for new credit without hard pull if they had done a hard pull within prior 30 days.
Regarding OLD institutions, here is a phrasing I got from Innovis letter:
Since it mentions "existing" account relationship and "existing" creditor (note: it also says "affiliates"), I assume freeze should prevent OLD institutions from opening new accounts.Innovis letter wrote:A security freeze does not apply to circumstances in which you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or its affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.