LIFELOCK IS THE #1 SERVICE
FOR CREDIT MONITORING AND
IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION
This is one of the first LifeLock TV commercials. It shows the CEO, Todd Davis, actually advertising his real social security number.
He is daring people to try and use it. It was an extremely successful ad made the LifeLock name well known.
But, unfortunately, it also started rumors, which continues today, that it’s some sort of scam.
People just could not believe that anyone would be bold enough, or crazy enough, or dumb enough, to broadcast their actual social security number to millions, and millions, of people.
They felt it couldn’t be true. It had to be a scam. And that is what started the internet rumors. This page helps answers that question..
My name is Aaron. A friend of mine had her credit card info stolen. She was one of those caught in the Target security breach that was all over the news. This was not a case of full blown identity theft, it was just one credit card. But it was enough! I can’t begin to imagine what someone who really has had their identity stolen must go through. It was before Target realized what had happen. My friend had to fight with the credit card company because she didn’t report it fast. At the same time she had to battle with each of the different places that charges where made to. She had to do a Police Report, she had to send in notarized Affidavits to each of the companies. It was an enormous hassle. And a relief when the whole Target thing came out. Because it really wasn’t until then that they agreed to remove all of it off her Visa.
I wanted to create this page because it was not until this happened that I began to pay attention to identity theft. Many people do not realized what a huge problem this is until it does happen to you, or someone you know. And then it is too late. Many people ask themselves questions like, Do I need identity theft protection? Is identity theft protection worth it? etc. And they hear about services like LifeLock but have gotten a lot of misinformation like it may be some kind of scam, or it’s really expensive, etc. The follow sections of this page will provide an overview about the basics of identity theft. As well as answer frequent questions about LifeLock. It includes a link below directly to their website for a 30 day free trial..
WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT
As explained on our main page, the purpose of this website, is to help you get information, and services, about what you are currently looking to find. The main focus of this particular page is to provide information about Identity Ttheft, and LifeLock Identity Theft Protection Services.
The statistics show that wile people are familiar with the term identity theft, many do not fully understand the basics of what it is, or how it happens. Which, of course, is very important in order to protect yourself from it. Identity theft happens to an individual when their personal information is illegally obtained. Then that personal information is used without your permission. It is a serious crime. It creates serious harm to your finances, credit history, and your reputation. There are even instances where a crime has been committed in someone else name. This is why you should be concerned even if you don’t have good credit and know that anyone attempting to use it would get denied obtaining a credit card, loan, etc. But what if they commit some crime in your name? It’s true that this is not the majority of identity thefts. But it does happen.
We hear a lot about it, but most of us never really think about identity theft until it happens to you directly, or someone you know. But the statistics are staggering. About 15 million people in the U.S. get their identities stolen each year. The financial losses around $50 billion annually. And it is increasing every year!
But in addition to this, about 100 million additional people get their personal information put at risk for identity theft each year. This happens when records by a government agency, or a corporate databases are lost or stolen. Like for instance, Home Depot, Target, and what happen to my friend. Since it was one single item, her VISA card, it does not count as a full identity theft case. But this is the most frequent, and costly, occurrence each year. If you have one card compromised, and it was actually used, then it is not a small thing.
Identity theft commonly happens in one, or two, ways. 1) Someone obtains your private details electronically (hacking). Then they use the information to make financial transactions without your knowledge. They use another address where any bills, statement, notices, etc. would get mailed to. By the time you find out, which usually may not happen until you apply for something, there is big outstanding debt. Of course, the payments haven’t been made. So in addition to the debt it is also delinquent, defaulted, etc. In the other case, the thief uses private information to acquire a new account, get a check book and even a telephone service. 2) The other common way is very low tech. Someone goes through a person’s trash, takes something out a mailbox, grabs something you left lying out on a desk, etc.
HOW TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT
Millions continues to be lost by people who have no knowledge their personal financial information has been used. At rates this crime is increasing it is becoming more of a matter of not if, but when, it may happen to you.
Fortunately there are very simple that you can do to lower your risks, reduce the possibilities, and minimized the chances of identity theft happening to you. These do not require LifeLock, or any of the other Identity Protection Service Companies. Here are 7 basic tips. To many, some of these may seem like basic common sense. Others, may need to be reminded of them:
1) Your Most Important Number – Never give your full social security number to anyone, unless you are 100% certain of who they are, and what they are going to use it for.
2) Telephone – Avoid giving out any personal information over the phone. Be especially cautious if is something that you did not initiate. For instance if some calls you on the phone, attempting to sell you something, saying they can save you money on whatever existing thing you already have, says they’re from some government agency, etc. If you did not contact them, then do not give them any information.
3) Look At Your Statements – Many of us have a habit of throwing routine bills, monthly statements, etc. in a pile somewhere. We look at them later. Sometimes we never look at them at all if it’s something you always expect to be the same each month. Stop doing this. Open the bill. Look at the amount. Make sure it is what you were expecting. I used to work customer service for Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. It was just amazing how many people don’t look at their bills. Often other lines on their account were doing things, downloading stuff that cost money, etc.
4) Credit Reports – Remember earlier we said most people never know they were the victim of identity theft until they get denied for something they are applying for. This is why you should routinely check your credit reports to see if any changes, or anything at all you do not recognize. Remember there are 3 separate major credit bureaus. Experian (used to be T.R.W.), Equifax, and Trans Union. You have to routinely check all three. This is definitely where an Identity Protection Service would be valuable. Each of the credit bureaus only gives you one report for free per year. You can get them all at one place AnnualCreditReport.com. After that they each will charge money every time you want to see it during a 12 month period. But as a member of most Identity Protection Services, including LifeLock, they do all of that for you.
5) Passwords – I know this is a sore subject. Passwords are just a headache. This place was 5 characters, this place wants 6, that place has to be letters and numbers, this place doesn’t allow numbers, etc. But you have to come up with a system you can remember other than 12345. This is the number one way identity is stolen by electronic methods. Hackers easily cracking your passwords. We created a whole separate page on this with tips for creating passwords. There are free apps available to help you keep track of all your different passwords. I use a basic for character base for everyone. Then I add the same characters if it is required to be more. I add the same number if a digit is required. And I capitalized the same letter if that is required. So even if I forget, I try the same sequence in order. It usually takes no more than 3 attempts to get the right one for that particular place.
6) Get A Debit Card – If you already have one then get another one. I’m talking about card completely separate from whatever you consider to be your main credit, or debit, VISA, or Mastercard, or Discover, etc. Back in the day many people carried what they called spending change, many still do. So this is the exact same concept. For instance, you get one of those re-loadable prepaid VISA debit cards from Walmart, etc. You put money on it. You determine how much at all times. Then you use that one card for everything. Paying bills, shopping online, shopping at Target, etc. If something happens then there is only so much damage that can be done. You never risked your main VISA with the $5,000 limit. The only risk is logging on to that VISA company’s own website to transfer money to your Walmart debit card. Other than that, it never gets used.
7) Paper Shredders – This is the second most common way identity is stolen. The low tech method of going through someone’s trash. Paper shredders may have seem a little bit excessive 10 years ago. They are an absolute necessity now. And they are inexpensive, and very compact. They can sit on a desk next to your computer, depending on what type you choose. Most people only need a cheap, simple one, you can get at Walmart. It dose not take a lot of extra effort at all to stick some in the shredder before you throw it in the trash. Remember that statement in the trash with your account number on it travels through a number of places, and people, before it gets to the final landfill. And there still may be people digging through that. Some experts say that this simple act is actually the number one thing you can do to minimize your risk of identity theft.
WHAT IS LIFELOCK
LifeLock is a identity theft protection, and fraud prevention, company. It was founded in 2005, and based in Tempe, Az. It has tens of thousands of customers. They are all in different states in the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. LIfeLock is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
Their service provides you with more protection than just credit monitoring. LifeLock watches out for you in ways banks, and credit card companies, are unable to. LifeLock is proactive identity theft protection.
Their system essentially does three things different from other identity theft protection services.
1) It places a fraud alert on your credit files for all 3 major credit bureaus. A fraud alert will require any creditor to contact you before granting new credit, or an extension of credit. Or take other reasonable measures to confirm that the credit application is not the result of a stolen identity. Fraud alerts are only active for 90 days. LlifeLock automatically renews them each period.
2) LifeLock does the necessary processes to remove your name from junk mail lists. All that junk mail floating around with names, addresses, etc. can be another potential source for identity theft.
3) They handle the procedures to get you off pre-approved credit offers. This also reduces the risk of someone trying to use a pre-approved credit card. They say that you should see a significant reduction in junk mail and pre-approved credit card offers within 2 months.
If you compare other Identity Theft Protection Services, you will notice that most of them is not much more than just credit monitoring. Which is good. However, that only alerts you after something has suspicious has happened, so you can quickly take steps to limit any potential problems. But LifeLock says they go a step further to proactively try to prevent it from happening to start with.
A lot of mis-information started circulating around the internet when the CEO started doing TV commercials where he was showing his real social security number and daring everyone to try and steal it. Everyone thought that this couldn’t possibly be his real social. Therefore, it had to be some kind of scam. It was a great advertising campaign. However, the FTC did investigate and ordered him to stop broadcasting his SSN and inviting people to attempt and commit the crime of identity theft.
There were 13 recorded attempts to use his SSN. Personally I think broadcasting his social security number was insane. However, those commercials ran for a long time. His social was exposed to millions, and millions, of people. If you think about it, the fact that only 13 people attempted to use it is kind of surprising. 11 of them were stopped immediately. But on 2 of them, the people actually did open whatever account they were trying to get. However, Mr. Davis was notified and they were immediately closed once he contacted the companies. He says the service did exactly what is was supposed to do. Therefore he can still claim that none of them were successful.
But it does kind of back-up the FTC’s position that no one can guarantee that identity theft won’t happen. The best we can do is take steps to significantly reduce the possibility of it happening.
No one can guarantee that you will not be victim of identity theft. However, they can provide services to help significantly reduce the risks of it happening. These are services that you may not have known were available. LifeLock has optional identity theft protection services that you can choose.
LifeLock Standard starts at only $9.99 per month. LifeLock Advantage is $19.99 per month. And, there is an Ultimate Plan that is $29.99 per month. The major features are highlighted below. You can visit their site for more details. Then choose a plan to begin a 30-day free trail.
- Advanced Internet monitoring – patrols over 10,000 criminal Internet sites
- Identity threat detection and alerts¹
- Reduce pre-approved credit offers
- Change of Address verification
- $1 Million Total Service Guarantee **
- WalletLockTM protection for lost or stolen wallets
- 24/7/365 Member Service
LifeLock Advantage – Enhanced monitoring including Data Breaches
- All of the Standard plan features
- Data Breach notifications – knowing early can protect your credit
- Bank account and Credit Card account activity alerts
- Annual credit score
- Annual credit report
- Monitoring for fictitious identity using your SSN
- Court records scanning
LifeLock Ultimate Plus – All of the above with extra Bank and Investment account monitoring
- Everything listed above PLUS
- Investment account activity alerts
- Checking and saving bank account application alerts
- Bank account takeover alerts
- Monthly credit score tracking
- Credit inquiry activity reports
- Sex offender registry reports
The Bottom Line: Identity theft happens to approximately 15 million people a year. Then another 100 million have their personal information compromised in some way. If it ever happens to you it can be an absolute nightmare just attempting to convince everyone that it wasn’t you! Then comes repairing the damage, which can take years.
There are very simple things you can do for free to greatly reduce your risks. However, in the times we live in now, many industry experts say it just makes sense to have some sort of identity protection service. They look at it as a necessity in life exactly the same as having adequate car insurance, or homeowners insurance, etc.
Most identity theft protection services offer basic credit monitoring. This is something you could just do yourself if you can remember to do it a minimum of once every 90 days. However, each of the 3 separate credit bureaus will want to charge for each separate credit report after you have gotten your free annual one. It can be $40 or more for each report… each time. That alone would make the identity theft protection more cost affective. LifeLock offers this service, and more.
Get More Info About How Much LifeLock Cost
* Identity Theft Monitoring
* Proactive ID Theft Prevention
* Identity Theft Insurance
* Credit Bureau Alerts
* Bank Account Monitoring
* Junk Mail Reduction
* Fraud Recovery Assistance
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