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      April 25, 2017

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Identity Theft

  1. IdentityForce
  2. Trusted ID
  3. Identity Guard
  4. Privacy Matters 123

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Identity Theft Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

Best Identity Theft Protection

A $50 Billion industry is big business. Unfortunately, that's how much fraudulent activity is charged each year stemming from identity theft. It's a big business alright; and one in which you are a potential victim.

There are a variety of ways in which data thieves can steal your personal information. They can sift through trash to find bills and credit statements; they can steal credit and debit card numbers when your card is used; they can "phish" your email and retrieve your data while posing as legitimate businesses. The list goes on and on.

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2017

Identity Theft Reviews

5 stars
LifeLock

LIFELOCK Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $9.99 per month

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award LifeLock offers Identity Theft protection programs for both individuals and businesses. LifeLock is one of the pioneers in Identity Theft protection and consistently works to stay ahead of the ever-changing world of identity theft. Here's a summary of the Identify Theft protection services they currently offer:

  • LifeLock Standard. LifeLock utilizes a system that monitors whether your personal information is used to apply for credit cards, check orders, mortgage loans, payday loans, auto loans, and many other forms of credit. If a breach of your identity is detected, you are alerted via email or phone. You also benefit from a Lost Wallet Protection service, the monitoring of any false address changes, and detection of whether your personal data appears on the black market. All of these options work to proactively monitor and mitigate the effects of fraudulent activity. Further, LifeLock also works to remove their customers from pre-approved credit card lists to minimize the potential risk of theft.
  • LifeLock Advantage. This option provides all of the protection of the Standard Plan, plus the monitoring of checking and savings account activity. Customers are able to sign on to a single website to review activity across several credit card and bank accounts. Alerts occur for cash withdrawals, large purchases and cash transfers. This service also provides notifications of reported data breaches at your favorite local retailers you may have visited. In addition, you benefit from Fictitious Identity Monitoring, which includes detecting whether your social security number becomes linked to other names and addresses. LifeLock also scans court files for activity involving your name and other information, which may indicate an identity breach. Advantage members further benefit from an annual online credit report and credit score, which is included with membership.
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus. This is LifeLock's all-encompassing option that provides the highest level of Identity Theft protection. With this plan, you receive all of the protections in the Standard and Advantage plans, plus the monitoring of new account activity at banks across the country in order to catch thieve's efforts to steal your identity. Bank withdrawals and activity within investment accounts also create alerts. In addition, you'll receive an annual credit report and score from all three bureaus, along with an online tracker for credit score changes. This service continues with the monitoring of your name, birthdate, email and social security number at photo, music and data sharing networks. Finally, LifeLock Ultimate Plus protects you and your family by alerting you if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood and whether they've used your address.

In addition to credit monitoring, detecting fraudulent activity, and alerting you of identity threats, LifeLock also provides assistance if an identity theft does take place – backed with an impressive $1,000,000 guarantee. If your identity is stolen, LifeLock's remediation team immediately takes action to restore your credit. The company will hire all the necessary lawyers, investigators, accountants - whatever assistance you may need. If any error or defect occurs in the services offered, LifeLock will pay up to $1,000,000 to correct the failure. The benefits under this Service Guarantee are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee, LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. As this is only a summary please see the actual policy for applicable terms and restrictions.

As a customer of LifeLock, you receive additional perks, such as annual credit reports and access to LifeLock Junior. This is an add-on service that serves to protect your children's identity. As strange as it may sound, many children have their identity stolen, which can go undetected for years. Thieves target kids because they know that typically no one is watching their credit until they become older. Monitoring credit applications and other services for your child's personal information minimizes their exposure to thieves and reduces the potential of a major credit and identity theft disaster.

LifeLock's services start at a very affordable $9.99 per month. If you're concerned about identity theft, LifeLock's comprehensive program should put your mind at ease. By taking the steps necessary to protect your identity, LifeLock provides a strong defense against identity thieves. And their $1,000,000 guarantee puts their money where their mouth is. LifeLock earns our highest rating.

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4.5 stars
Identity Force

IDENTITY FORCE Visit Site

Cost:

$14.95/mo or $19.95/mo with credit check option added

$27.50/yr for ChildWatch

IdentityForce is a complete identity theft prevention service that offers multi-level protection and claims to be the industry leader in identity protection for individuals, businesses and even government agencies. The array of services offered by IdentityForce is impressive, and certainly a lot more extensive than a simple credit score monitoring system that many other identity theft prevention services offer as their only protection strategy.

IdentityForce divides their list of services into 4 main categories, each of which has several underlying components. These are:

  • Monitor: In addition to the usual daily monitoring of a client's credit reports, IdentityForce actually scans the Internet at large on a constant basis, searching chat rooms, blogs and other websites to detect when a client's personal information is being sold. They monitor court records and quick loan services as well; to be sure no unauthorized use of a client's social security number is being used. IdentityForce even monitors any change of address requests that may be someone trying to redirect someone's personal information.
  • Alert: If any of the monitoring activities listed above reveals a red flag, such as a client's social security number being used to secure a loan or showing up in a courtroom log, the client is immediately sent an alert. Additionally, Identity Force monitors major credit incidents such as security breaches or new identity theft laws. If a department store announces that shopper credit card information may have been compromised, IdentityForce will notify its clients.
  • Control: IdentityForce has several features that allow a client to control how much of his or her personal information is out there for potential theft. They offer a Junk Main Opt Out program that protects personal information by deleting the client's name from the most commonly used marketing websites, and by stopping pre-approved credit offers from being sent. They also offer DeleteNow, which is a report sent to the client with a list of places on the Internet where their name or other information has been made public. The client can then choose to delete any incidents of public information that are inaccurate or unwanted.
  • Relax: IdentityForce offers a $1,000,000.00 insurance policy against any damage caused by identity theft that they fail to prevent. This is equal to the highest identity theft insurance in the industry. This category also includes the comfort of having 24/7 customer service specialists available, and even a Lost Wallet Assistance program where IdentityForce will assist a client in canceling their credit cards and other accounts that might have been compromised by a lost wallet.

IdentityForce offers a free 2 week trial offer for potential customers. This is a great option for those that want to better understand what they are getting into before paying for the service. IdentityForce provides two different plans to choose from. While the more basic plan is more expensive than other top rated identity theft companies, the service is more comprehensive and comes with actual insurance policy should something occur. Customers can also add their ChildWatch program which keeps an eye on your children's identity and the possibility that a thief might target a family member.

Overall we found IdentityForce to be an incredibly impressive identity theft protection program. Their list of services is robust and multifaceted, providing some of the top protection in the marketplace.

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3.5 stars
Trusted ID

TRUSTED ID Visit Site

Cost:

$10 per month
Or, $99 per year (2 months free)

Trusted ID offers a variety of products to help protect your identity. First, to help guard against Identity Theft, they offer a product called ID Freeze. ID Freeze offers the following features:

  • Bankers must call and double check your identity when they receive a new credit request
  • Monitoring of your credit card numbers
  • Stop pre-approved credit offers from being mailed to your home
  • Receive a credit report evaluation
  • Have access to identity theft and restoration specialists

Another product we liked was the StolenID Monitor. For free, you are able to search the Trusted ID database to find out if your social security number or credit card information have already been stolen. If they haven't, you have the option to try StolenID Monitor free for one year. This product will monitor up to three pieces of data (SSN's, credit card numbers) and will alert you if your data is being misused.

Trusted ID backs their services by offering to pay up to $1,000,000 to cover any out-of-pocket costs associated with identify theft for their customers. This is a welcome show of confidence in the strength of their products.

Trusted ID offers their ID Freeze service for $10 / month, or $120 per year. If you sign up for a 12-month subscription, you pay only $99 (effectively receiving 2 months free) For additional fees you can also utilize their StolenID Monitor (free for the first year).

Trusted ID offers services very similar to top-rated LifeLock. For their monthly fee you receive identity theft protection backed with a very good guarantee.

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2.5 stars
Identity Guard

IDENTITY GUARD Visit Site

Cost:

$4.99 - $19.99 per month, depending on protection level selected

Identity Guard allows you to choose between four levels of security protection. These are as follows:

  • Level 1 - Good Start.  This service costs $4.99/ month and provides daily monitoring of your credit bureau file. If any changes are detected, you receive an instant email notification.
  • Level 2 - Watchful Eye.  This service costs $9.99 / month and includes daily surveillance of the Internet's "financial black market" and "back alley" newsgroups.
  • Level 3 - Extra Caution.  At $14.99 / month, this service adds daily surveillance of all three credit bureaus and 3-in-1 credit reports.
  • Level 4 - Total Protection.  Costing $19.99 / month, this includes daily scanning for unlawful use of your social security number and other sensitive data.

All levels of Identity Guard offer email alerts of any suspicious activity and unlimited toll-free customer service.

Signing up is simple, and your first month of protection is free. This is a trial period for you and you may cancel at anytime. Identity Guard also offers a free $50 visa gift card for every five friends or family members that sign up for their services as well.

Identity Guard backs up their Levels 3 and 4 protection plans with a $20,000 identity theft insurance with Identity Guard. However, certain restrictions do apply and you are liable for the first $250 of expenses.

We were impressed with the amount of information about identity theft that is available on the Identity Guard website. They describe a number of different ways that thieves can steal a person's identity, and reviews a list of actions you can take to protect your personal information. There is also an interesting quiz you can take to see your level of risk for having your identity stolen.

While we appreciate all of the information and advice available on the website, you can find the same or better level of security with one of our top-rated services, for less money.

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1 star
Privacy Matters 123

PRIVACY MATTERS 123 Visit Site

Cost:

$19.99 per month

This website is not easy to navigate through. There are too many different links. It took us a while to find a link to simply explain how Privacy Matters 123 protects a person's identity. By the looks of the website, signing up for protection appears to be more about getting a free credit report than actually protecting your identity.

They do not provide any information on their refund policy or service level guarantee.

As a member of Privacy Matters 123, you receive the following benefits:

  • Automatic monitoring of your credit at all three credit bureaus
  • Unlimited access to your credit report and score
  • Unlimited access to customer service

You can try the Privacy Matters 123's services free for seven days. If you decide to cancel you still receive your online credit report. If you do not cancel, your credit card will be billed $19.99 per month

This is where the service provided by Privacy Matters 123 ends. They do not provide the fraud alerts, credit line verification, or identity theft insurance provided with the other plans in our review. Ironically, they do offer the highest cost however.

Privacy Matters 123 offers the bare minimum in protection and costs the most per month. The website is organized poorly and they provide no guarantee or identity theft insurance. For real identity theft protection, we suggest you look to one of our higher-rated selections.

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Continued from above

Once they have your data, it doesn't take long for them to wreak havoc. For example, they can drain your bank and checking accounts. Or, they can open new loans for cars and other big ticket items. They can even charge your accounts for vacations, home furnishings, and surgical procedures such as Liposuction and plastic surgery.

And after you realize you're a victim, it can take months or even years to straighten out the mess.

While no one can guarantee that your personal information will never be stolen, Identity Theft Protection services work to make sure that this information can not be used to bring you harm.

There are a number of features you'll want to consider when looking for an Identity Theft Protection service. Some of these include:

  • Services offered.  Some companies provide extensive protection and monitoring services; others provide just basic reporting.
  • Cost.  The cost for these services can vary widely. You want to be sure you're getting good value for your dollar.
  • Guarantee.  Some services provide no guarantee of protection; others provide up to $1 million worth of coverage.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Identity Theft programs available today. We hope this information helps you protect your identity and credit files right away!

Is identity theft protection worth it?

Identity theft is a huge problem. In 2015 alone, more than 13 million Americans became victims of at a cost of $15 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, But the problems caused by identity theft go far beyond the money directly lost to ...

Published:  Sat, 22 Apr 2017 07:04:00 GMT



Deerfield hotel guest pleads not guilty to identity theft charges

A Chicago man entered a not guilty plea April 19 after authorities said he racked up an $8,900 bill at a Deerfield hotel and used forged credit cards, according to court and police records. John R. Ryan Jr., 32, of Chicago, was indicted April 12 on charges ...

Published:  Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:54:00 GMT



AZ man struggles with IRS for decade to try and fix unbelievable case of identity theft

Tony Chilicas and his fiancé, Holly, are getting married in July. But their walk down the aisle will only be symbolic. Chilicas refused to make it legally official. "I don't want her taking my last name until this is done,"ť he said. It's because ...

Published:  Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:26:00 GMT



West Virginia AG targeting identity theft, consumer fraud

CUMBERLAND - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is working with AARP and other organizations to fight consumer fraud and identity theft during Money Smart Week. "We're trying hard to educate people," Morrisey said in an interview with the ...

Published:  Sun, 23 Apr 2017 15:15:00 GMT



Auburn woman charged with identity theft for allegedly using a lost credit card she found

An Auburn woman was arrested Thursday for allegedly using another person's credit card to make fraudulent purchases, according to the Auburn Police Department. Allison A. Besner, 20, 6021 Oakridge Road, was charged with first-degree identity theft, a class ...

Published:  Sat, 22 Apr 2017 01:00:00 GMT



LifeLock Disclaimers:

The benefits under the Service Guarantee are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. As this is only a summary please see the actual policy for applicable terms and restrictions at LifeLock.com/legal.

Service Guarantee benefits for State of Washington members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy issued by United Specialty Insurance Company. Benefits for all other members are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. Please see the policy for terms, conditions and exclusions at LifeLock.com/legal.

"LifeLock," "Relentlessly Protecting Your Identity," or the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of LifeLock, Inc.

Applicable sales tax not included.

Lost Wallet Protection excludes pictures, cash, and cash equivalents.

This site is not owned or operated by LifeLock, Inc. and the contents of this site are either under the exclusive control of [legal name of affiliate] or other third parties not under the control of LifeLock, Inc. Any representations contained in this site are those exclusively of the site owner and not LifeLock, Inc., and LifeLock, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any such representations. The site operator may receive compensation from sales made through this site. LifeLock, LifeLock Ultimate, the LockMan Logo and "Relentlessly Protecting Your Identity" are trademarks or registered trademarks of LifeLock, Inc.

 

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