November 18, 2009
Identity Protection Programs: How Do They Stack Up?
If you’ve seen the television commercial that shows the owner’s social security number scrawled along an 18-wheeler, you’re likely familiar with LifeLock. Mud is skeptical of any company whose owner displays such vital information so publically. “What’s stopping someone from using his social security number to claim unemployment benefits,â€ he says. Protection against this kind of identity theft is outside the realms of what any of these products can offer, Mud says. But LifeLock does have some advantages.
–The identity alert feature notifies subscribers when personal information is being used to apply for credit cards, wireless services, retail credit, utilities and several other forms of credit.
–The program scans address databases nationwide and notifies subscribers of any address changes associated with their name.
–If your wallet goes missing, the company will help you cancel and replace lost credit/debit cards, social security, and insurance cards, and other content.
–This program charges to send subscribers a copy of their free credit reports. A service that can be accessed through the government’s Website FreeAnnualCreditReport.com without cost.
–There is no protection against medical identity theft, so there is no way to tell if your personal information was used at an emergency room across the country. “You won’t find out about this happening until someone tries to collect from you,â€ Mud says.
–The program does not scan public records which could show yield findings of criminal identity theft.
$10 for one month