Another reason to take a pass on credit monitoring

Heavily marketed credit monitoring services were dealt a serious blow by a federal judge who stopped one of the biggest of the firms from placing "fraud alerts" on behalf of their customers.

The credit reporting agency Experian sued the monitoring firm Lifelock, alleging its automated system of renewing thousands of fraud alerts was costing them millions. Experian contended the law that allows the placement of fraud alerts, which gives a consumer whose account is at risk of identity theft an added layer of protection, only permits an individual -- not a company -- to place them. U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford agreed.