Identity Theft Companies

Theft Companies

Identity Theft Companies: Which Offers the Best Service?

According to ConsumerReports.org, almost $3.5 billion was spent by around 50 million Americans on services from Identity Theft companies that offer to monitor and safeguard one’s identity online. But, how good are the services they provide?

In 2012, the Consumer Federation of America released a study regarding how Identity Theft companies improved their services after a 2009 report. They also checked whether the information that these companies presented to their customers followed the best practices in providing Identity Theft services. Their findings? A majority of the companies’ websites complied with the best practices. However, there are still things that need to be improved.

Who is the best?

There are numerous webpages on the Internet that reviewed and compared the services of these Identity Theft companies. The five that stood out are Identity Force, Identity Guard, TrustedID, ProtectMyID, and Lifelock.

This article will focus on relating the pros and cons as well as the features of these five Identity Theft companies as perceived by a website that conducts top online reviews.

Identity Force

Identity Force boasts their use of ID Analytics engine in monitoring possible stolen identities online. It searches online chat rooms, public records, and black-markets on the Internet for your personal information. If a possible fraud has been detected, you will be notified immediately. Identity Force also issues fraud alerts to your credit card company, and gives you a list of sex offenders within your vicinity. In the event of identity theft while using the service, the company will help you clear up the fraud and recover your stolen identity.

Identity Force can protect almost all of your personal information but not your driver’s license number. For a minimal fee, the service will add your kids to your plan. Other features include mail list removal services, a set of computer security programs, and resources for your identity protection. The company’s customer service staff is available around the clock to answer questions.

Identity Guard

According to the Consumer Federation of America, some things still needed to be improved regarding the clarity of the information Identity Guard provided to their customers. Despite that, the agency lauded the company’s webpage because it managed to comprehensively explain the features of their service.

A good component of Identity Guard’s service is that it can provide up to $2,000 of emergency cash in the event that a customer loses his/her wallet. Other features include constant monitoring of your credit scores and tracking of your personal information on black-market sites. If a questionable activity is detected, you will be notified through SMS. However, you have to inform the credit bureaus yourself because Identity Guard does not send fraud alerts.

Almost all of your personal information, including medical insurance card details and loans or lease applications, is monitored by the company. Unlike Identity Force, Identity Guard does not provide a list of sex offenders within your vicinity. Customers get a set of security programs and access to unlimited identity theft resources. They can also include children into the plan for an additional fee. For questions, customer lines are open for about fifteen hours a day. Basic questions will not be entertained via email.

Trusted ID

The Consumer Federation of America noticed that some of Trusted ID’s claims are misleading and “may have gone too far.” Their service does not include keeping an eye on public records or criminal data.

If you register for the service, it will evaluate your chance for identity theft. If the result is high, Trusted ID will advise you on how to minimize the risk. Also part of the service is inclusion of your children and the elderly, and live support through phone, chat, and email.

ProtectMyID

Based on the report of the Consumer Federation of America, ProtectMyID may tend to overpromise the services they offer.

Part of the service includes monitoring your and your children’s identity, with technical support via phone from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. In case of identity theft, the company has fraud resolution agents who will assist you in restoring your identity. ProtectMyID will also inform you if there are new applications for credit cards listed under your name, if there are requests for your account, and if there are changes on your address or other personal information. However, criminal records and unrelated data to your credit reports are not part of the monitoring service.

LifeLock Ultimate Plus

According to the Consumer Federation of America, there are some inconsistencies regarding LifeLock’s refund and cancellation policies.

The services offered by LifeLock Ultimate Plus include monitoring your personal information in the black-market and tracing for possible misuse of your identity. They will also inform you if someone uses your personal information in applying for auto and mortgage loans, retail credits, and wireless services. However, LifeLock Ultimate Plus does not provide protection for your insurance records or for your computer’s security.

In the event of identity theft while enrolled in the service, the company will assist you in recovering your identity. If you lost your wallet, identity theft experts will help you cancel your cards, driver’s license, insurance cards, and Social Security card.

LifeLock Ultimate Plus will also remove your name from junk mail offers and help you safeguard the personal information of your children. Unlike other service providers, LifeLock Ultimate Plus will not give its customers a set of computer security programs. However, they have antivirus and spam blocking software and keystroke encryption software available to its members. For questions, the company’s service representatives will assist you around the clock.

Product Comparison

Monthly Membership Fee:

  • Identity Force: starts at $14.95 a month
  • Identity Guard: starts at $19.99 a month
  • Trusted ID: starts at $10.42 a month
  • ProtectMyID; starts at $19.95 a month
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus: starts at $29.99 a month

Coverage in Protecting Your Personal Information:

  • Identity Force: Social Security number, bank account and credit card information, loans and leases, public records, full name, phone records, street address, email, insurance records, and vehicle registration plate
  • Identity Guard: Social Security number, driver’s license number, bank account and credit card information, loans and leases, public records, full name, phone records, street address, and vehicle registration plate
  • Trusted ID: Social Security number, credit card information, public records, full name, phone records, street address, and email
  • ProtectMyID: Social Security number, credit card information, public records, full name, phone records, street address, email, insurance records, and vehicle registration plate
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus: Social Security number, bank account and credit card information, loans and leases, public records, full name, phone records, street address, email, and driver’s license number.

Additional Features:

  • Identity Force: provides criminal records information, fraud monitoring, fraud alert, resolution services, stolen wallet assistance, service guarantee, $1 million insurance, family coverage, credit history reports, and credit monitoring services
  • Identity Guard: provides criminal records information, resolution services, stolen wallet assistance, $1 million insurance, credit history reports, and credit monitoring services; no mail list removal
  • Trusted ID: fraud monitoring, fraud alert, resolution services, $1 million service guarantee, family coverage, credit history reports, and credit monitoring services
  • ProtectMyID: fraud monitoring, fraud alert, resolution services, stolen wallet assistance, service guarantee, $1 million insurance, family coverage, credit history reports, credit monitoring services, and mail list removal
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus: provides criminal records information, fraud monitoring, resolution services, stolen wallet assistance, $1 million service guarantee, family coverage, and mail list removal.

24/7 Technical Assistance:

  • Identity Force: yes
  • Identity Guard: no
  • Trusted ID: no
  • ProtectMyID: yes
  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus: yes

Identity theft has become a large issue and choosing the right source to protect you requires the right information. How well are you protected?