For so many of us, protecting our identity is a priority. We know that identity theft is a reality and last year, more than 9 million people had their identities stolen. Can you imagine someone using your credit cards, accessing your bank accounts or renting a property in your name? The idea is very frightening and Identity Alert understands your concerns. That is why we have created a system that scans thousands of databases to show you what personal information you have floating around that identity thieves could potentially steal.
Many of you may be familiar with other identity theft protection services like Life Lock. The company claims to protect customers from identity thieves by placing fraud alerts on their credit accounts. However, the Federal Trade Commission recently fined the company 12 million dollars for fraudulent practices and false advertising. In an article on wired.com, the F-T-C chairman Jon Leibowitz is quoted as saying “the protection they provided left such a large hole … that you could drive that truck through it.” The hole Leibowitz is referring to is the lack of protection Life Lock provides from thieves who can rack up charges on a someone’s existing accounts. The truck he mentions is the truck Life Lock purchased and placed the CEO, Todd Davis’, social security number on. The company used this marketing ploy to promote the security they provide customers. Ironically, a thief used Davis’ social security number shortly after that to secure a $500 loan.
There are two major reasons why Life Lock and credit monitoring services do not work. Number one, they monitor the major credit bureaus. However, identity thieves are not stealing your information from these places. Instead they are stealing from other databases that are less secure. Secondly, credit-monitoring services do not prevent fraud; they merely notify you after fraudulent activity has already occurred. You can think of them as a referee throwing out a flag after you have taken a late hit from a linebacker. They are simply acknowledging that they saw the foul while you are trying to recover from the damage. Plus, it’s impossible for companies to know if the activity on your credit is from you or a thief.
Credit experts suggest protecting yourself from identity thieves with a three-part approach. The first two steps are to figure out what databases have stored your personal information and have that information removed. The final step is to freeze your credit. Once your credit is frozen, you will have to provide your PIN number every time you need a credit application processed. As long as thieves don’t know your PIN, they won’t be able to open new credit accounts in your name.
Identity alert is here to help you with the first two steps. Let’s take a quick tour through the software so you can see how easy it is to use. The first step is to enter your name and state of residence in the box to the right. From the list of results you can see that there are a lot of people with the same name. Filter through the list using your social security number or date of birth…Now select your name. For your protection, we are going to ask you a couple of security questions. Answer them and click next step. This is a list of databases that have your personal information. Keep in mind; we do not produce this information, we are simply conduits showing you what information is available. The databases that we search are the same ones that are accessed by thieves. We realize that it’s a little uncomfortable to know that all of these companies have your personal information. In this final step, Protect yourself; choose to file an Information Removal Demand. We will send these demands to every database and the law requires them to lock down your information and remove it from their records.
Stop worrying about how are you going to prevent someone from stealing your identity. Don’t be a victim, but be informed…take precaution. Check your identity now.