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Identity Theft Prevention


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I've been thinking about joining lifelock.com after a good friend of mine had his identity stolen. The nightmare he has gone through has my undivided attention.

Do any of you guys have any experience with identity theft and/or prevention? Are there any other service providers out there that provide protection against identity theft other than lifelock.com? I did a cursory google search and found a Wells Fargo service and another service called identityguard.com. I spoke to a lifelock customer service representative and wasn't that impressed. I asked for some basic statistics on identity theft and she informed me they didn't have those numbers, but...."with increasing technology, it's a real threat". Then she offered me a free 60-day trial and a free paper shredder. Sounds legit to me, right?

I don't want to make a decision based on paranoia. At over $400/year, I am looking for a more information before I shell out this kind of money.

I did come across a news article stating that a lot of identiy theft can be prevented by simply calling all three credit bureaus and putting a "freeze" on your credit for a small fee.

What do you guys think?

edit: spelling

Edited by CSEMARTIN
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Best thing u can do is freeze your credit with the 3 credit agencies

Sent from my SCH-R530U using Tapatalk 2

I froze mine, cost a few bucks but I know that nobody will be starting any new accounts in my name. My credit unions have agreements with me that NO money will be transferred out of my accounts without a couple of involved online passwords or a visit from me with ID.

Pat

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Best thing u can do is freeze your credit with the 3 credit agencies

+1. I don't think that anyone can open an account under your name if these agencies are blocked. They can all be done online... Just leave them blocked until you ever need to open a new account, like a cell-phone account for example.

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I had LifeLock on me and my wife for a year, After a little research, I cancelled the service.

If you do a credit freeze with all three of the credit bureaus and get the annual credit reports and you have the same thing LifeLock offers. Back when some states would not allow a credit freeze on your account unless you were the victim of identity theft, LifeLock may be beneficial. That restriction has been lifted and now all states allow the individual to freeze their accounts for a small fee. They are to waive the fee if you were a victim of identity theft.

When you lock your credit, they give you a password to unlock when you need to access it. Just remember to refreeze the account later.

You get a free credit report from each of the bureaus every 12 months. To help spread the coverage, I get one report, four months later get a second report from another bureau and four months later get a report from the third bureau. Repeat annually.

Bill

http://www.equifax.com

http://www.experian.com/

http://www.transunion.com/

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I had LifeLock on me and my wife for a year, After a little research, I cancelled the service.

If you do a credit freeze with all three of the credit bureaus and get the annual credit reports and you have the same thing LifeLock offers. Back when some states would not allow a credit freeze on your account unless you were the victim of identity theft, LifeLock may be beneficial. That restriction has been lifted and now all states allow the individual to freeze their accounts for a small fee. They are to waive the fee if you were a victim of identity theft.

When you lock your credit, they give you a password to unlock when you need to access it. Just remember to refreeze the account later.

You get a free credit report from each of the bureaus every 12 months. To help spread the coverage, I get one report, four months later get a second report from another bureau and four months later get a report from the third bureau. Repeat annually.

Bill

http://www.equifax.com

http://www.experian.com/

http://www.transunion.com/

Then just schedule the appointments to do that on your calendar, so you get a reminder....

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question on the freee, how do yo unfreeze them ? and if they can be easily unfrozen what prevents an ID thief from first unfreezing them ?

The password is something like a 10 or 11 digit numeric password. One company also requires you answer a security question. If kept in a safe place (i.e. not in your wallet and labeled "Expirian Password") you are plenty safe.

The only time I had to unfreeze mine was to get a new cell phone contract. While still at the store, we contacted their main office. I asked which of the credit bureaus they needed to review. They only needed one so I gave them the "un-freeze" password. They logged into the system and checked my credit. Its something they do many times a day and in my case it took only a few minutes.

About a week later, I "re-froze" may information. If you unfreeze it yourself, you can do it for a certain amount of time, like maybe a week if you are car shopping. Just to be safe, I recommend you "re-freeze" just to make sure you are covered.

Off topic, its also handy if you just want to "shop" for a car. The salesman will bust his butt to get enough information to check your credit before he will even begin talking prices. When they come back from the managers office and tell you they are unable to check your credit, you can tell them why.

Since it may be a few bucks to "un-freeze" and "re-freeze" your information or you do not have the password handy, they cannot force you to open your credit report. Then its tough for them to know how big a payment you can afford. Makes negotiating prices interesting.

If they are unwilling to discuss prices first, I walk. If the salesman starts feeding me BS, I walk. I even had a salesman require I sign his handwritten counter offer saying it was a "binding contract enforcable in court".

I like to shop for cars.

Edited by Flatland Shooter
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