Undated -- if you're concerned about someone stealing your financial identity, you might be tempted to buy one of the many ID protection services you see on commercials.
Consumer Reports analyzed this billion-dollar industry to see if it's really worth it. Some companies can charge $120 to $300 a year for identity theft protection.
But just like in everything else, The details are in the fine print. The main service these companies offer is monitoring your credit reports by the big credit bureaus: Experian, Trans-union and Equifax.
But you can do that yourself for FREE
"We recommend getting an annual credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus. it's free, and if you stagger your requests, you can get a fresh report every four months," says Consumer Reports Greg Daugherty.
The only truly FREE credit report is from www.annualcreditreport.com