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I have been noticing some of the ID protection ads lately, for some reason, but I'm not sure if I want to get tied into any of the services available. This is probably just out of ignorence on my part. The one that seems to advertise the most is "Lifelock" but there seems to be many of them available. Does anyone have any experience with any of these companies and, if so, can you share what it was like? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Jim
 

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Is Lifelock the one where the guy showed his SSN on the screen? Be careful - I think he was prosecuted for fraud because his identity HAD been stolen. Sorry no personal experience...
 

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No personal experience myself either, but IMHO these are ads and they just want you to open your wallet.

Everyone is legally entitled to get a copy of their credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting companies annually, upon request. If you haven't done so that's a great place to start to make sure they don't include things that aren't you.
http://www.ftc.gov/freereports --- do not confuse it with the likes of 'freecreditreport.com'.
 

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Don't do it.

The lifelock guy has had his identity stolen a half dozen times. People do it just to prove they can, because he puts it out there so blatantly.

The risk of your identity getting stolen and actually screwing you over are pretty slim. They can't hold you liable if someone opens a credit card in your name, and the most your bank can hold you liable for is something like $100 (and they usually won't even charge you that) when your identity is stolen or your account is otherwise compromised.

I had someone try to use my identity to rent an apartment and open a credit card account about 8-9 years ago. I found out when the credit card was sent to my house. A half dozen phone calls cleared everything up, it was really no big deal.

If you're concerned, check your credit report every now and then to make sure there's nothing on it that shouldn't be there. Check it once or twice a year and you should be good (you can get it once a year for free through the gov't, or from the agency whenever you're declined credit for something). Practice basic safety measures (don't give out your PIN) and keep a close eye on your accounts and you don't have anything to worry about. You can also call each credit reporting agency and have them flag your account with a phone number to let potential creditors know to call you to verify your identity before issuing credit.

The credit card companies and banks are already watching out to keep your identity from getting stolen, because it's their $$ on the hook if it happens. You just need to keep your eyes on your accounts and not worry about it. The companies that are out there trying to sell you these services know this, and are just trying to make a quick buck. Everything they will do, you can do for free.
 

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Listen carefully to the Lifelock commercial when they give the list of what they do to prevent identity theft.
I bet you're already doing that, anyway.
The commercial makes it sound good, but I take the same steps myself, why pay someone else to do what I can do for free?
 

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QUOTE(rerun @ Feb 10 2010, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I get my free credit report once a year it never shows me score. They want you to pay to see that. I just did it again yesterday. Anyone know a way around it?

I got the free one a couple years ago and it was on there. Was hard to find, but was there. Was like they hid it so you pay extra for them to tell you.

I actually need to get another one soon..
 

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Very sneaky at the bottom of one of the pages they write.

By law, you are entitled to obtain your credit score. There is a fee $ to obtain your credit score from Equifax Information Services. To request your credit score, please contact: (list address) or call 1-877-SCORE-11

The way they word it makes it seem like it cost money. I'm heading out the door but when I get back I'll call and see what happens.
 

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QUOTE(rerun @ Feb 10 2010, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I get my free credit report once a year it never shows me score. They want you to pay to see that. I just did it again yesterday. Anyone know a way around it?
My old WaMu credit card web site had my score and it was updated monthly. But when Chase took over WaMu that went away.

You can register on www.creditkarma.com and get your score and report.
 

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I have known people who have had ID theft problems. It is a big headache to get fixed. I have Lifelock for a couple of years. It has worked great. When you have any credit application there is a secondary call back to you to confirm. Example, I am opening a new business and in getting the phones, the telephone company called me on my cell to confirm before they processed the order. Same with my credit card processor, equipment financing etc. I know you can request your credit reports and put fraud alerts for free, but that is not what the ID guard services really do.
If somebody is trying to use my personal or business info to get credit, I want to know immediately.

Remember all the data from the VA that was on some idiots laptop he took home and was stolen, my info was on that laptop. It seems like every six months I get a letter from somewhere saying it is "possible" my info was accessed or lost etc.
Just my 2 cents
 

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According to the credit reporting agencies (CRA) guidelines, they must provide you with an accurate report. With that being said, if anything inaccurate, obsolete, erroneous or fraudulent comes up on your credit report, by law they have to remove it. The CRAs are not government agencies, nor do they maintain accuracy on credit reports. They are independent companies (Trans Union, Equifax, Experian).

With that being said, they make their own rules and guidelines that are nationally "accepted". I sat down with Eric Smith, Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney, a while ago and told him of all of my old clients that had identity theft that legitimately had their identity stolen. I asked him if there is any legal way of getting an item removed from a credit report that is caused from identity theft or an inaccurate item. He said it is possible, not too easily done and he has seen them put it back on the report.

Also, in the case of identity theft, he has dealt with cases where the person that had their identity stolen ended up having the items stay on their credit report. He said the companies that financed the transaction do not seem to care if you had your identity or not. They just want their money.

With as many people that have your personal information, you would figure they would be more considerate or come up with a better way of keeping your information confidential. For example, in a mortgage process, do you realize how many people have their hands on your personal information? How many databases your personal information is on? For how long? What happens if that information is misplaced or someone hacks into the databases? I think the CRAs do a very bad job of keeping people's identities in order and think the whole process should be revamped, especially with today's knowledge and technology.

In answer to your question, I would recommend obtaining your free credit report each year to check the status. You can obtain a copy at www.annualcreditreport.com. As far as getting enrolled in one of these programs, it might be nice to monitor it if you have the time and money to do so, but if your identity gets stolen, it's going to be a pain even if you do have the monitoring service.

Free credit scores? Never heard of them and I doubt anyone offers a legit free one unless you sign up for a service. If you do find one, let us know.-------I stand corrected, there is www.creditkarma.com. Thanks for pointing that out and I'll check it out
 

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QUOTE(SKUZA @ Feb 10 2010, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Typical sales pitch. Create a problem and offer a solution. People need to realize they don't need half the crap they buy!
I may not NEED my video game arcade or my other toys. But I NEED my boat.
 

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QUOTE(LakeNewbie @ Feb 10 2010, 03:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>people keep mistaking stodge for my uncle...when really he's my baby brother.
Uncle? I'm WAY younger than you.
 

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I pay cash for everything. If I don't have the cash I don't buy it. I have one credit card and it is used in an emergency situation only.
 

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I don't see where the first poster was asking about free credit reports or FICO scores.......
I understood it to be asking about ID protection services.
My goal is to protect my credit before there is a problem, and lifelock has worked for the past two years, companies cannot issue me or my business credit until they receive a confirmation call from me.
I have traveled alot and have had charges show up on my credit cards from all over the world, Those are easily solved with the credit card company. A few months ago I was in Eastern Europe and had no problem using a particular card. I bought lunch in Amsterdam and when I arrived at Metro 8 hrs later I could not buy my wife a Starbucks coffee in the airport with that card because the bank thought there was a problem. They are proactive.
There is a huge black market for ID info, and I wish to be proactive.
Sure, it is not for everyone, but for 50 bucks a year it works for me.
 

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I know you were asking about identity protection but here is some helpful information.

By law you are entitled to one free report annually from all 3 reporting agencies. You are not entitiled to a free credit score.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Once you get your free reports form the above link. You can not do it again for a year.

Here is the tip.

If you find you need another report within a year you can go to each credit reporting agency and start a dispute. You don't need to actually have a dispute but the process involves getting your report.

The easiest of the 3 is TransUnion.

http://annualcreditreport.transunion.com/entry/disputeonline

Follow that link and start a dispute. The first step is verifying who you are the second step is viewing your report. You can stop there once you have your report.

The other 2 agencies have similar processes but TransUnion is the easiest. I check my report a few times a year for free.

Matt
 
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