In 2017, one in every 15 people in the US became a victim of identity theft.
What will you lose if your identity is stolen? Your time!
Yes, the thieves could also steal money from your financial accounts. Yet banks and credit card companies cover most or all of those losses. Your big loss is spending hundreds of hours to straighten out your accounts and have fraudulent changes and charges reversed.
What you can do about identity theft:
1. Purchase good Identify Theft Protection.
2. Follow cyber safety precautions.
2. Follow cyber safety precautions.
Why did I list good protection first? Because I don't want you to lose all those hours spent recovering your life. With good identity theft coverage, the protection company will put in the time for you.
Even if you are careful there are so many ways your identity can be stolen. Thieves are constantly evolving new methods and finding new vulnerabilities. You should follow safe practices with computers and mobile phones, but you could still become a victim along with 16 million other Americans every year.
What Is Good Identity Theft Protection?
Add-ons offered with homeowners policies are typically worth very little. They cover financial loss but not hands-on assistance. Eight-eight percent of victims suffer no financial loss. The real risk is losing your valuable time and feeling the aggravation of dealing with company after company to delete fraudulent accounts created in your name.
Good Identify Theft protection will transfer the hassle of eliminating fraudulent debts and accounts to experts at the company you use. Recovery services can include 24/7 availability. completing the paperwork, making calls and doing all the heavy lifting to restore your identity.
Sadly, most Identity Theft companies fall short when it comes to providing recovery services. Consumer complain on spending hours on hold, failures to return phone calls and respond to emails and dealing with surly and unhelpful service people.
If your goal, like mine, is to spare yourself hundreds of hours of lost time and hassles, most of the companies I investigated are likely to disappoint you.
Based on my research, one company has the best reputation, ID Watchdog (www.idwatchdog.com).
After studying a number of review sites, I discovered that all of the companies had some complaints of one kind or another. Most had many customer complaints and even low or no Better Business Bureau ratings.
ID Watchdog provided the best level of service for restoring stolen identities. That type service is my highest priority, but your priorities may be different. Unlike some other companies, ID Watchdog does not monitor your bank accounts or credit card accounts for unusual transactions. I rely on my regular reviews of these accounts and on the fraud detection systems of the respective institutions to detect those potential problems. My main objective is to outsource the numerous hours of work that would be needed to restore my identity if it were stolen.
Other identity protection companies received bad reviews based on unresponsive customer service operations and lack of active assistance in recovering from identity theft. One of the best known companies did not have a Better Business Bureau account and had dozens of all-negative reviews posted to BBB.org.
Pricing for ID Watchdog is $149.95 per year or $14.95 per month for an individual account. Discounted pricing and plans for your and your spouse or for you and your family are available by calling the company at 800-970-5182.
I called ID Watchdog on the weekend and during workdays. I always received prompt and helpful answers, never waiting on hold.
I recommend that you carefully check out and subscribe to an indentity protection service. Doing so can avoid completing all the paperwork, making calls and doing all the heavy lifting yourself if you become one of the one in 15 Americans victimized by identity fraud.