There many ways identity thieves can steal our personal information. No matter how hard we try to prevent identity theft, it’s bound to happen. The best way to protect you and your family is through practicing awareness. The truth is that no matter what company tries to sell you on their “we prevent identity fraud ” slogan, there is no 100% way to stop it from happening. So why are some of these services saying they can prevent it?
Why Can’t Identity Theft Protection Plans Prevent Identity Theft?
The reason there is not a 100% way these security companies can prevent this from happening is because by the time these crooks open an account or take your money, they’re already long gone. The other problem they encounter, is that credit is not the only type of ID Theft that exists. There are actually 5 areas of ID fraud, so it is impossible to find the thief due to the different possibilities of theft that there are.
The Truth About Identity Theft Protection Plans, Are They Ripoffs?
If these protection plans don’t prevent Identity Theft, then what do they do? Regardless of whether these plans actually prevent this crime from occurring or not, they serve a valuable purpose. I did some research and I found some protection plans come with a sturdy safety net to keep you and your family insured. In other words, its just like insurance, but a whole lot cheaper. If thieves happen to attack your personal information, some of these plans will reimburse all your losses and some will reimburse a portion of it. The reason this is important is because thieves are known to not just steal thousands of dollars but millions.
What some of these plans also offer is credit monitoring. That’s why they state they can prevent some crimes of Identity fraud. Credit monitoring is good because they do watch your credit from the national reporting agencies and report to you any suspicious activity. That will give you time to notify authorities and also the credit agencies. It helps to track the thieve down and stop him/her from committing any more fraud in your name.
Major Problems With Some Of These Protection Plans
There were a few problems that I found that are very important:
1. Many protection plans state they offer credit monitoring, but the problem with that is, what happens if the crook commits fraud in the other 4 areas of Identity Theft that don’t involve credit? Am I protected? Most say no!
2. They also state they will reimburse money that is lost for any credit fraud committed against you, but the question is “how much?” Not all plans will reimburse the total losses that you incur.
3. There is a system that some protection plans are using called Fraud Alerts. Not all plans offer it but it would be great to have. Some of these services announce they offer it but actually don’t have it. The problem there? Not all fraud is financial. The better you understand that, the better you will know what systems are good and which ones are trash.
4. When you are a victim of identity theft, it takes a lot of work and time to fix all the problems yourself. Anywhere from 2-4 years to be exact. Many of the Identity protection plans say they will help you in case you are a victim of Identity Theft. Here is the huge problem. If you read their Terms And Conditions, it will actually say they will guide you, or offer you phone assistance. All that means for you is someone is pointing you in a direction you could have found out for yourself. Some of the guidance they offer ends up being a Self Help Kit they send you via postal mail.
5. Right now, Identity Theft has never been bigger amongst children. Kids under the age of 18 are actually considered #1 targets for identity fraud. The problem for some identity protection plans? They don’t monitor any children what so ever. Since children are among the many victims, how can they not be protected?
With Identity Theft affecting over 10 million people each year and rising, it really is important to become aware of the threats we face against it. Other than practicing awareness and hoping not to become part of the statistics, it is in fact important to have a safety net for you and your family. There are Identity Theft Protection Plans out there that do it all and actually work. The hard part is having time to find which one would be best for your and your family. Word of Advice though. Identity theft happens to a person every 3.2 seconds, don’t wait to you become a victim to practice awareness.