Identity theft in the US is a big problem. Many people do not even know they are a victim for many months. This is because many people do not check their credit card statements every day. Sometimes, people do not use their credit/debit cards often and may not know of a lost or stolen card for a few days until they use the card again. This makes identity theft easy for thieves and bad for consumers.
If you are worried about identity theft but do not know what to do or where to go, look into identity theft services.
What to Look For in a Company
There are a few things to look for in an identity theft company that can help you get the most for your money.
1. Make sure the company you choose sets up and maintains a credit fraud alert with the top three Credit Monitoring Agencies on your behalf.
2. The company should, on your behalf, provide you a free credit report and score. This is obtained free once per year. They should also keep you updated as to the important aspects of the report and monitor it carefully for credit fraud.
3. The company you choose should remove your name from all junk mail lists and credit card approval lists. This ensures that thieves cannot sign up for credit cards under your name.
4. The company should offer guarantees to pay for assistance if you do fall victim to identity theft. This is important because you are a member of their service and they did not provide the service satisfactorily. They should also offer personal counseling free of charge if you become a victim while under their membership.
5. If you have children, you should get a protection plan that will alert you if someone uses your child’s Social Security Number illegally.
6. Make sure the company will watch for deceased members of your family, because thieves will use easy targets and deceased humans are very easy to steal.
7. The company you choose should be certified by The International Organization for Standardization. This is a mark of highest security standards.
8. Their database should be secure from hackers.
9. They should provide background checks on all of their employees and have surveillance and an alarm system. Believe it or not, theft does happen from inside these companies. It is easy to find information when you work around it all the time.
The above 9 points are very crucial in choosing identity theft services. However, there are a few more points that can help if you are extremely worried.
10. Companies may offer coverage for wages lost due to identity theft. This can be for a range of difficulties that arise from identity theft. If you need to go to court for the charges, the company may pay for those wages lost. Not all companies offer this service and it is not necessary unless you really want the service for peace of mind. There will be limits and stipulations for this service, if offered, so make sure to find out this information.
11. Replace your IDs. Many companies now offer to have IDs replaced if stolen or lost. This can be a big relief to have this service in case of identity theft. Some things cost money to replace, such as certain debit cards and driver’s licenses. Things that would be covered would be credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, driver’s license, social security cards, passports, important documents such as certificates or immigration information, checkbooks and traveler’s checks.
Following the above steps will help you choose identity theft services that will work best for you and your family.