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  • Identity theft protection

    How do members on this forum protect against identity theft/fraud? Identity fraud is a big problem these days and i am worried about not being well protected. Infact i admit, i do not even understand the various ways i could be a victim of fraud. I bet you all have heard horror stories and its often too late when one finds out about it.

    Anyone here have any experience with companies like Lifelock? Geico identity protection?

  • #2
    ID theft usually involves someone getting a line of credit in your name. My credit is frozen with the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Price varies from state to state, but costs $0-$30. It denies anyone that tries to use your identity to apply for credit. It has no effect on existing lines of credit, but if you want additional lines you pay the fee again to the bureau(s) that the company is going to check. You can to one-time thaws or for a defined period of time. Prevention is better than insurance or cleaning up a mess.

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    • #3
      Am I the only person that sees companies like like Lifelock et al. as essentially fraudulent? They try to scare consumers into paying large sums of money for things that are almost always covered by your bank/CC free of charge.  I can see potentially freezing credit line for fixed fee like tigeri suggests, but a continuous monthly fee the companies hope you are forgetting about is nuts.  BTW, often you homeowners insurances tries to tack some "Identity/fraud protection" on for a ridiculous fee. Make sure to nip that in the bud. Nothing worse than "protection" you don't even know you have.

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      • #4
        For a couple of years, we provided LL as a free perk to our top-tier clients, but we decided it was more of a good feeling service than a true protection. Clark Howard is usually right on target and he also suggests the credit freeze mentioned by  BCBiker. In particular, be careful with your children's identity info (SSN and DOB) as they are much more susceptible and usually don't find out they've been targeted until they are old enough to apply for a credit card or try to get a car loan. Sadly, family members are the usual perpetrators. Be proactive and check your free credit reports regularly. These blogs/vlogs on our website have some really good info, also:
        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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        • #5
          I would pay attention to the IRS website and see if you are eligible for an Identity Protection Pin number when/if they restart their system.  I had my SSN used by someone else to file a tax return for 2014.  I didn't get my return until Oct/Nov 2015..and I was lucky.  After that I was able to opt into the identity protection pin number program so that my future taxes cannot be filed without a separate 6 digit pin.

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          • #6
            Thanks a lot for the replies. Very useful links Johanna. I am going to go with credit freeze too.

             

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            • #7
              I have had the unfortunate experience of having a fraudulent tax return filed. After much work by my accountant it was all straightened out and we have an assigned PIN for tax filings and communications. Since then , I have Lifelock, and I have been happy with their monitoring. I did not do a credit line freeze as I have several investments wherein I am a cosigner on loans and they run annual credit checks. Thus, several times a year I would have to pay to unlock it. Lifelock watches my credit, my spouse, and my children and have caught a couple of attempted actions. Overall I am pleased with them.

              Interestingly, the last few times we had fraudulent bank charges have all coincided with international travel. I only bring one card with me when traveling now just to make it a bit easier to monitor and always call the card company in advance so they know what countries i am going to and when I will be back. BofA does a great job with that aspect.

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