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Nine Tips to Evaluating ID Theft Protection Companies

These tips were created by CFA’s ID Theft Service Best Practice Group (which includes companies that provide identity theft services, consumer organizations, and consumer agencies) to help you find identity companies that follow good practices. You can read the entire article here. Here they are:

  • Do they promise to protect you 100%? No company can completely protect you 100%. Choose the right service.

  • Do they try to scare you into signing up?
    If a company is using scare tactics stay away from them. ID theft is a big problem but not everyone becomes a victim and the results of ID theft vary from 1 person to the next. Most credit card companies won’t make you pay for items purchased by ID thieves. However other ID theft problems can be harder to fix.

  • Do they make basic information about them easy to find on their web site?
    Basic information such as the company name, the physical location of its headquarters, and how to contact it or its product distributor directly for answers to questions.

  • Do they offer to monitor your personal information and alert you to possible fraud?
    What do they monitor? It should be easy to find information on their web site or customer service representative about which of the 3 major credit bureaus they monitor (if any). They should also let you know what else they monitor like commercial databases, public records, and the Internet for clues that you might be a victim, and how frequently they monitor.

  • Do they make it clear as to how they will help you?
    For instance, can they help detect new accounts that were opened fraudulently? Credit monitoring won’t always alert you when someone uses your existing accounts fraudulently so you should monitor those online yourself weekly. Find out how you will be alerted to suspicious activity.

  • If they offer to help ID theft victims, is it clear how they help and who is eligible?
    Do they give you general advice with kits and let you do the rest on your own, provide one on one counseling or contact creditors on your behalf?

  • Do they tell you (or display on the web site) the cost before you signup?
    Do they tell you what types of personal information they collect and how they safeguard it?

  • Is their privacy policy clear?

  • If they offer insurance and or guarantees, is it clear what is covered?
    They should tell you exactly what the insurance or guarantee does for you and in what situations. If they reimburse you for expenses related to resolving identity theft problems, what types of expenses are included, whether there are limits to how much you can get or other restrictions, and what’s required to make a claim?

 

 

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