According to the FTC, the recovery process [from identity theft] can take an average of 30 hours and thousands of dollars to correct ...

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LifeLock or Trusted ID: Which Is Best?

... keep in mind that these services are not the end-all and be-all of identity theft protection. You should ...

 

Article Contents

1 Identity Theft Is Top Consumer Complaint

2 Have You Ever Heard of Dave Crouse?

3 Reactive Versus Proactive Identity Theft Service

4 Should You Even Use Any Of These Services At All?

5 So Which Identity Theft Protection Service is Best?

6 A Final Thought

 
 

Identity Theft Is Top Consumer Complaint

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report on consumer complaints, identity theft remains the top consumer complaint. The FTC received 270,156 complaints on identity theft, accounting for 15% of the total 1.8 million consumer complaints last year. This puts identity theft at the top of the list of consumer complaints for the 12th consecutive year.

According to the FTC, the most common form of identity theft was through fraudulent government documents, wherein someone steals a person's identity to obtain federal benefits such as welfare and unemployment aid. Credit card fraud came in second followed by phone and utilities fraud. With information increasingly becoming digital, thieves nowadays are using more sophisticated schemes to to steal personal information or con people to willingly turn over information.

How protected are you from identity theft? Are you as protected as you think you are?

According to Consumer Federation of America consumer-protection director, Susan Grant, identity theft continues to remain a big problem. "With more and more personal information about consumers being collected by more and more companies, government agencies and others for various purposes, the fact remains that there are still problems with security breaches, where consumers' information is stolen by identity thieves."

A lot of people are aware that identity theft is a growing concern. However, people still seem to brush it off thinking that they will never be an identity theft victim. It's no easy task to clear up one's name once you become a victim of identity theft. In fact, according to the FTC, the recovery process can take an average of 30 hours and thousands of dollars to correct. Add to the this the stress and emotional burden of having your privacy invaded, being an identity theft victim is really a serious matter.

Have You Ever Heard of Dave Crouse?

I stumbled upon the story of Dave Crouse as I was doing my research on identity theft. Fifty-six year old Dave once had a $180,000 a year construction-industry job. However, he got laid off sometime at the onset of the economic downturn. Adding insult to injury, in 2009 Dave became a victim of identity theft. But his case was not one of those minor identity theft cases. In fact, identity theft and fraud ruined Dave Crouse's life. Identity theft ruined him financially and emotionally.

We certainly do not want something that took us our whole life to build to be somewhat unprotected and ruined by fraudsters just like that.

What started as petty fraudulent charges of $17.98 or $37 in February 2009 eventually became uncontrollable. Within six months, identity fraud cost Dave some $900,000 worth of merchandise, gambling and telephone-service charges. All of these were siphoned out of his debit card.

Dave's once strong 780 credit score has also been ruined. Despite efforts to save his good name, which has cost him $100,000 (practically depleting his savings and retirement accounts), Dave says that his identity (Social Security number, address, phone numbers, and historical information) are still being used in attempts to open credit cards and bank accounts. (If you want to read more about  Dave Crouse's story, click here).

The situation that Dave helplessly found himself in is one that I would never want myself or my family to experience. As you very well know, it takes years to build our good financial standing. We certainly do not want something that took us our whole life to build to be somewhat unprotected and ruined by fraudsters just like that.

Reactive Versus Proactive Identity Theft Service

Just as we protect our home, our car, our family's health, and our life with insurance, it makes logical sense that we also should protect our hard-earned financial standing and reputation. Some people simply wait for something bad to happen before taking action. 

As far as I know, credit monitoring services only alert you after someone has already stolen your identity. Although credit report monitoring is a good measure to spot fraudulent activity, it may not be enough.

As far as I know, credit monitoring services only alert you after someone has already stolen your identity. Although credit report monitoring is a good measure to spot fraudulent activity, it may not be enough.

Identity theft protection services, on the other hand, try to help protect against thieves from stealing and using your information. Based on what I've seen and based on my conversations with some of my friends, there are two leading industry identity theft protection services in the market today worth checking. These are LifeLock and TrustedID.

Based on what I have seen, there are just some very subtle differences between the service offerings that these two top identity theft protection services have to offer. But basically, they both provide the following services.

» Credit Report Monitoring. Both services monitor the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

» Daily Monitoring and Alerts. LifeLock and TrustedID both monitor daily and alert you about any fraudulent activity within a day. This is in contrast to the quarterly reports that you get from most credit monitoring services. By the time you see any fraudulent activity, it may already be way too late to take action

» Automatic Fraud Alert. Both services place fraud alerts on your credit file once it has been determined that fraud activity had just occurred. This feature notifies lenders that they should take steps to verify your identity before authorizing new or additional credit.

» $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance. LifeLock was one of the first companies to offer $1 million in identity theft insurance. After which, most other companies followed this practice. Trusted ID also offers this too. Other services in the market offer identity theft insurance ranging from as low as $25,000 but more services are now offering the $1 million guarantee (or warrantee, in some cases).

I had to seek clarification on this cause this identity theft insurance could be tricky. The main gist of this $1 million insurance is that in the event that you fall victim to identity theft, these companies will spend up to $1 million to hire or pay lawyers, investigators, consultants, other specialists to help you. These companies will do whatever it takes to restore your name and recover any direct losses as a result of the identity theft. Just so you are aware, no money passes directly to members of these identity theft protection services.

» Online Monitoring. If your personal data has been stolen, chances are that this is being bought and sold on the internet. LifeLock and TrustedID both have ways to monitor and detect whether your information is being sold online.

» Fraud Specialist. If you ever become a victim of identity theft, these services will provide you with a fraud recovery specialist who will give personal assistance to help resolve the issue. Such personalized service is really needed most especially when you do not know where and how to start the process of notifying the proper authorities and institutions in the event that your identity is stolen.

Should You Even Use Any Of These Services At All?

A lot of so-called identity theft industry experts say that the service offerings that LifeLock and TrustedID provide are something you can do yourself ... that is if you know what to do and if you have the time to do them all.

If you do some searches on the internet, chances are that you will find a list of what you should do to protect you and your family from identity theft. This includes making the calls yourself to various agencies, writing and requesting for information, requesting to put certain accounts on credit freeze, etc. 

This brings me to the question: Do I really have the time to do all of these? Furthermore, will I have all the up-to-date information to do all these myself? Some people may have the time to do all of these while others may be too busy to even deal with it. Other people may have all the time to do this but may not know exactly what to do. So you really have to ask yourself which category do you fall in.

... these identity theft services can do all the monitoring for you while you can focus on other stuff that matters more to you.

Regarding the price of the service, for prices ranging from $10 to $17 a month, these identity theft services can do all the monitoring for you while you can focus on other stuff that matters more to you. You have to ask yourself how much is your time really worth. Will you be spending just an hour or a couple of hours a month doing what these companies can do for you? Is your time worth more than $10 (or $17) an hour or less than that? If you answered more, then you probably might be better off having these companies do the work for you. I really think that the monthly fee is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and security that you get with these services.

So Which Identity Theft Protection Service is Best?

The bottom line benefit that you will get when you enroll with either of these services is that in the event that you have a stolen or fraudulent identity incident, you will get the benefit of a more centralized support system to take care of what needs to be done to negate or at best, minimize the impact of such an incident.

LifeLock currently has more than 1.7 million members and still going strong.

So this begs the question ... which of the two services provides the best identity theft protection? To be honest with you, it's really a tough choice cause the differences between these two services are very subtle. The choice of which one to use will really depend on what suits your purpose and your personal preference. However, there are other factors that might appeal to various customers such as the following:

» Market Leadership. LifeLock has been a trailblazer and industry leader. The company started its business back in 2005 and since then, a lot of other "me too" identity theft protection companies have sprouted. LifeLock currently has more than 1.7 million members and still going strong. LifeLock is an award-winning organization.

On 24 August 2010, Inc. magazine ranked LifeLock 8th on its 29th Annual Inc. 500 List, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. In addition, LifeLock is recognized as #1 in the Inc. 500's Security category. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy, America's independent-minded entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Visa, Zappos, GoDaddy, Under Armour, Jamba Juice, American Apparel, Oracle, and hundreds of other powerhouses gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500.

LifeLock has also been recognized by the American Business Awards as Best Overall Company, by AlwaysOn to the Top Global Company 250 list, and most recently by Arizona Corporate Excellence as Arizona’s Fastest Growing Company. So if you prefer a market leader, then you might like to seriously look into LifeLock.

 

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» Solid Business Backing. Lifelock is a privately held company that has only been around since 2005. However, the company is backed by some of the largest private equity investors that includes Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bessemer Venture Partners, Gold Hill Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank.

TrustedID is also a young, privately held company. The company counts among its investors Opus Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Symantec strongly believes in LifeLock's business and made a "small strategic investment" in the company in August 2009.

» Partnerships and Endorsements. Reputable and market leading services are usually endorsed and backed by other major companies. These are the types of services that I usually also look for because this gives companies some staying power in the market. Having such partnerships assures you that the service that you are using will not just go away.

LifeLock has a major partnership with Symantec, the world's largest antivirus software company and maker of the Norton PC protection line of software. This partnership between LifeLock and Symantec includes bundling the two companies' products, educational outreach, and a joint lobbying effort for stronger penalties for identity thieves. In fact, Symantec strongly believes in LifeLock's business and made a "small strategic investment" in the company in August 2009.

So if you are budget conscious and plan to have your family protected too, I think TrustedID offers the best value for your money.

» Value For Your Money. LifeLock has a tiered pricing plan. The company has the basic LifeLock package which cost $10 a month. The LifeLock Command Center package includes the basic package plus some additional monitoring services and cost $15.00 a month. LifeLock does not offer a family plan. Each member of your family will need to be enrolled in an individual plan.

TrustedID has a tiered pricing scheme. For an individual plan, Trusted ID has the lowest cost at $8.25 a month. Now if you have a family and you plan to have them protected too (which you really should most especially since the incidences of stolen identities for minors and young kids continue to grow each year), TrustedID has a family plan which cost $15.83 a month. So if you are budget conscious and plan to have your family protected too, I think TrustedID offers the best value for your money. 

 

 

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A Final Thought

There is no room for complacency regarding this issue cause the impact of such a crime can be devastating to anyone, regardless of your financial stature.

You need to keep in mind that these services are not the end-all and be-all of identity theft protection. You should not solely rely on these services for personal data protection. You need to do your part and apply some of the best measures to protect your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. You need to think of these companies as just one of the tools in your arsenal to protect yourself and your family from the financial and emotional wreckage that identity thieves can cause you.

Becoming a victim of identity theft can be one of the most unpleasant and aggravating experiences that you can ever have. There is no room for complacency regarding this issue cause the impact of such a crime can be devastating to anyone, regardless of your financial stature. Like life insurance or car insurance, it is wise to have some sort of protection against the growing issue of identity theft.

So now the question is should you remain reactive or become proactive? We'll leave the ultimate decision to you.

Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate

LifeLock is proud to announce the launch of LifeLock Ultimate, the most comprehensive identity theft protection available. LifeLock Ultimate offers a bigger network, better protection, and faster notification. 

This all new service combines the latest advancements in identity theft protection with robust credit management tools to provide consumers the ultimate in peace of mind and protection.

In addition to all of the services included in standard LifeLock identity theft protection membership, LifeLock Ultimate offers:

- Identity Threat Detection and Alerts

- Lost Wallet Protection

- Address Change Verification

- Advanced Internet Monitoring

- Reduce Pre-Approved Credit Offers

Protect your money, keep your good name clear, and eliminate unwanted surprises with LifeLock Ultimate.

TrustedID Promo Code

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Free Credit Score from all 3 bureaus plus Complete TrustedID Identity Protection

FREE Trial for 14 days ONLY With This Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

LifeLock Ultimate Promo Code

30 Days FREE and 10% Instant Discount ONLY with this Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

LifeLock Ultimate offers a bigger network, better protection, and faster notification. This all new service combines the latest advancements in identity theft protection with robust credit management tools to provide consumers the ultimate in peace of mind and protection.

LifeLock Promo Code

10% Instant Discount ONLY with this Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

   

Article Contents

1 Identity Theft Is Top Consumer Complaint

2 Have You Ever Heard of Dave Crouse?

3 Reactive Versus Proactive Identity Theft Service

4 Should You Even Use Any Of These Services At All?

5 So Which Identity Theft Protection Service is Best?

6 A Final Thought

 
 

LifeLock Ultimate Promo Code

30 Days FREE and 10% Instant Discount ONLY with this Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

LifeLock Ultimate offers a bigger network, better protection, and faster notification. This all new service combines the latest advancements in identity theft protection with robust credit management tools to provide consumers the ultimate in peace of mind and protection.

LifeLock Promo Code

10% Instant Discount ONLY with this Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

TrustedID Promo Code

Click Here To Get Your FREE Credit Score Now

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

Free Credit Score from all 3 bureaus plus Complete TrustedID Identity Protection

FREE Trial for 14 days ONLY With This Link

Promo Ends April 30, 2014

 

What are the Odds of You Becoming an Identity Theft Victim?

While doing my research on identity theft, I came across the following startling statistics about this growing concern.

»

1 in every 20 American adults is a victim of identity theft

»

There is 1 identity fraud victim every 3 seconds

»

There are more than 24,000 reports of identity fraud every day

»

11,100,000 million adults in the US fell victim to identity theft

»

Identity theft has cost victims a collective $54,000,000,000 (yes, that is billion!)

»

The number of identity theft victims increased 12%

»

The number of fraudulent new credit-card accounts shot up to 39% of all identity-fraud victims in 2009 from 33% in 2008

»

Fraud from existing credit-card accounts rose to 75%

»

New online accounts opened falsely more than doubled

»

29% of identity theft victims reported that new cell-phone accounts were opened deceptively

»

It takes an average of 30 hours and thousands of dollars to clear up your name from identity theft fraud

According to James Van Dyke of Javelin Strategy Research, identity theft is "a crime that's almost impossible to catch when done in a sophisticated manner and a crime in which enforcement is very limited." With the increasing trend in digitized data and the growing sophistication of identity theft perpetrators, the odds of becoming a fraud victim continues to grow every year. It's not a question of whether identity theft can happen to you. It's a question of when.

Do You Need Identity Theft Protection? Take This Simple Test.

Have you ever wondered whether you really need identity theft protection? Try to answer the following questions as honestly as you can:

Yes

No

 

Are you sophisticated enough to recognize a phishing email?

Do you use at least a credit or a debit card to pay for your purchases?

Have you ever had an instance wherein you had left your credit or debit card at a store or a restaurant?

Do you shop online and use at least a credit or a debit card for your purchase?

Have you ever misplaced or lost your wallet before?

Have you ever disposed of personal and financial documents without shredding them prior to throwing them in the trash?

Have you ever disposed of personal mail without shredding them prior to disposing them in the trash?

Are you an owner of a laptop computer?

Have you ever disposed of or donated an old computer without properly erasing files in them?

Do you store personal files on your laptop or desktop computer without password protecting or encrypting them?

Are you using a laptop or desktop computer that does not have the latest malware protection software?

Are you using a laptop or desktop computer that does not even have any malware protection software at all?

Are you using a laptop, desktop computer, or internet service provider that has the latest firewall protection?

Has any of the financial institutions that you deal with ever had a data breach over the past three years?

Do you securely store financial documents, passports, identification cards, and other personal papers at home?

Do you travel often every year?

Is your mailbox unlocked and accessible to others other than you and the postman?

If you had answered YES to at least four of the above questions, then chances are that you might need identity theft protection.

#1 in Identity Theft Protection

 

Learn More About TrustedID Now

 

Identity Theft Tops FTC Consumer Complaints

It is not surprising that identity theft remains one of the top most complained about consumer issues with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2011. According to the CNNMoney, this is the 12th year that identity theft has topped the list, and there seems to be no end in sight. According to the report, 15% (or 279,156) of the more than 1.8 million complaints that the FTC received last year were about identity theft ... Read Full Article

Identity Theft Remains Major Problem In US

For the eleventh consecutive year, identity theft has remained the number one most complained about problem with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) here in the US. In 2010, the FTC received 250,854 complaints stemming from identity theft. That is about 18.7% of the total 1.34 million consumer complaints it received in 2010. According to the FTC report, the main cause for identity theft had to do with ... Read Full Article

Identity Theft Ranks No. 1 on FTC Consumer-Complaint List

New U.S. Federal Trade Commission data show that identity theft continues to be a top concern for consumers. The commission Tuesday released a list of the top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2010, and for the 11th year in a row, identity theft ranked No. 1. The agency received more than one million complaints last year, and 19% were related to identity theft ... Read Full Article

Identity Theft Remains a Main Concern for Consumers Finds Recall Survey

Recall North America, a global leader in information management, announced the results of a study commissioned by Recall North America and conducted by Harris Interactive. The survey asked 2,194 adults their views on identity theft, a serious issue that costs consumers and businesses millions of dollars annually, and can irretrievably destroy their credit. 9 out of 10 respondents are at least somewhat concerned about ... Read Full Article

Economic Difficulties Bring Increase In Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, Social Security number, date of birth or other identifying information without your permission to commit fraud. According to a report put together by AARP for 2008, New Mexico ranks ninth in the number of complaints of identity theft per 100,000 people. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen every year ... Read Full Article

Identity Fraud Nightmare: One Man's Story; Technology and the Recession Push ID Theft and Fraud to Record Levels

Identity theft and fraud have ruined Dave Crouse’s life. He's just one of 11 million victims in 2009. Identity theft and fraud have ruined Dave Crouse's life. In fewer than six months, some $900,000 in merchandise, gambling and telephone-services charges were siphoned out of his debit card. His attempts to salvage his finances have cost him nearly $100,000 and have bled dry his savings and retirement accounts. His credit score ... Read Full Article

Unveiling the Truth About Identity Theft

Over the past five years, identity theft has become a growing, nationwide concern annually affecting approximately 10 million Americans. It's an issue that is difficult to detect until it is too late and hard to understand the impact of until experienced firsthand. According to the FTC, the recovery process can take an average of 30 hours and thousands of dollars to correct. Identity Finder dispels common misconceptions ... Read Full Article

Are Online Profiles a Danger to Personal Privacy?

The rapid proliferation of the use of social networking sites among adults 45 and older, combined with the revealing results of a recent study commissioned by ProtectMyID.com, Experian’s multilayered identity theft detection, protection and fraud resolution product, demonstrates the need for awareness and education surrounding identity theft stemming from information people post online. According to this study ... Read Full Article

LifeLock Promo Codes

Trusted ID Promo Code

 

   
 
 

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The number and overall cost of identity theft cases continue to grow every year as a result of a multitude of factors that include a tough economic environment, tough labor market, the increasing trend towards digitalization of personal information, the lack of stringent data security measures from organizations handling data and personal information, and lack of prudence on the part of consumers about the importance of protecting their personal information. Identity theft is an issue that is not easy to detect until it is too late. Furthermore, identity theft is also not easy to comprehend until a person experiences it firsthand. A proactive approach to identity theft protection is highly recommended as opposed to one that is more reactive.

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