October 1, 2016

How Do ID Theft Services Like Life Lock Work?

ID theft protection services perform a variety of services on your behalf to help you protect yourself from identity theft.  In addition, they have several services that can help restore your life faster if you do fall victim to identity theft.

Understand that there is no action which can guarantee that your identity will not be stolen in some form or fashion.  Even a full scale credit freeze will only stop new credit accounts from being opened in your name.  It won’t do a thing, say, for medical fraud or employment fraud.  It won’t stop someone from carrying your information around as they commit a crime, either.  So if you’re looking for the 100% one-stop shop solution to protecting your ID you’re going to be disappointed.  If, however, you’d like to make your life quicker or easier by having someone handle all of the minute details of dealing with identity theft protection, services like Life Lock might just be worth your while.

First, Life Lock places fraud alerts on your credit report every 90 days.  Not the extended alert, which requires a police report and sits for 7 years, just the normal fraud alert, which requires creditors to work harder to verify your identity if they want to approve a credit application.  Some people advocating simply freezing your credit, but doing this means you lose quick and easy access to your credit as well.

They also provide a service called Wallet Lock.  This service will help you restore your lost documents, shut down your credit cards, and deal with other issues that crop up as a result of lost or stolen wallets.  Life Lock also removes your name from pre-screened credit card offers and mailing lists, which can limit your exposure.  In addition, they monitor change of address databases to see if anybody has forwarded your mail recently.

Life Lock backs its services with a $1 million guarantee.  That means you can feel pretty reasonable in knowing that your $10 a month wasn’t wasted.  If something goes wrong you now have ID theft insurance to go along with your other plans.

These services also scan the black market to make sure your information never pops up.  There are actual underground chat rooms where people go to buy and sell stolen identity information.  They keep their eye on court and criminal records to make sure your identity doesn’t turn up there.   You receive notifications when any use of your identity pops up, allowing you to take swift action.  In the case of ID theft, swift action can mean the difference between a momentary episode and years of struggle.

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