Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Providing Answers and Protection for Over 50 Years
There are numerous ways that thieves can obtain personally identifiable information (PII). Examples include:
- Stealing physical items such as mail, wallet/purse, smart phone, trash, etc.
- Stealing digital data as when a business computer system is breached, your computer is tainted with malware or a skimmer is placed on a payment card reader.
- Gathering personal information from social networks and data aggregator websites.
- Phishing schemes – tricks to get you to reveal information.
Identity theft is the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief to obtain goods, services, and/or employment; commit a crime; gain a benefit; or prevent revealing the thief’s real identity.
PII includes but may not be limited to a consumer’s name, Social Security Number, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate, student transcript, or medical record.
Most pre-existing identity theft events are not covered under the full restoration benefit. However, our plans can still provide valuable protection and support.
Benefits such as unlimited consultation with a identity theft expert to help you deal with pre-existing identity theft, help placing a fraud alert on your credit accounts and ongoing monitoring to track any new issues provide critical support when you need it most.
If you’ve already experienced identity theft, join immediately and contact our Licensed Private Investigators to prevent additional damage to your finances and reputation.
Sign up today and pay nothing for the first 30 days. If you cancel your plan before 30 days, you’ll be changed nothing. If you choose to continue beyond 30 days, your first month is still free and you’ll be charged starting the second month of your membership.
Your membership can be cancelled any time by sending written notice to IDShield. Please see your membership benefits for cancellation instructions specific to your plan, or you can call/email Member Services at 800-654-7757 or email [email protected] Important: Your membership and payment remain active until written notice is received.
“1B” and “3B” monitoring refers to the number of credit bureaus being monitored (the credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, Experian).
Offering 1-bureau monitoring allows us to keep costs of the IDShield product low and still monitor important data. One-bureau monitoring is effective because it is rare that credit-related identity theft is limited to one event and that one event is reported to only one credit bureau. Most of the time all three credit reports will be affected to some extent allowing 1-bureau monitoring to be effective to alert the member to an issue.
With our 3 bureau monitoring plans, IDShield monitors credit reports across all three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Lenders, creditors and many businesses check and submit data that ends up on your credit reports. But not all report to the same credit bureau. By watching all three bureaus, IDShield provides comprehensive monitoring. If changes or inquiries are made, participants will receive an instant alert.
It is important to note that when identity theft is confirmed, the restoration process deals with ALL THREE national credit reporting agencies, so that all of the member’s reports are reviewed and any fraudulent information on the reports is disputed.
Sometimes a consumer may think identity theft has occurred when it may not actually have. If there is an account on your credit report that you did not authorize, it is possible that an identity thief used your information to create an account or it could simply be the result of a credit reporting error. You can prove you’re a victim of identity theft if you can confirm that your Social Security number or other key piece of your Personally Identifiable Information was used to open a credit card account, obtain a loan, submit health care information or similar unauthorized activity. IDShield members have unlimited consultation with Licensed Private Investigators if they have any questions or concerns regarding the status of their identity.
IDShield has Licensed Private Investigators to provide the best identity restoration possible and undo the damage done by identity thieves. Our IDShield Licensed Private Investigators will work for as long as it takes to restore a member’s identity to its pre-theft status to ensure that they are not held responsible for the debts created by the identity thief. By performing comprehensive restoration services, consumer reports are returned to their pre-theft status and other records are cleared of the activity created by the identity thief.
Credit report monitoring does not prevent identity theft. However, it’s a tool that can alert you to activity that may indicate identity theft is being attempted or has taken place. If you learn someone used your data to apply for credit, you’ll take steps to prevent future misuse of your data.
The participant, their spouse/partner and up to 10 dependent children under the age of 18. Note that monitoring services are not available for dependent children ages 18-26 but dependent children of the member or members spouse ages 18-26 are eligible for consultation and restoration services only.
Identity theft is much more than credit card fraud. It’s the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief for the purpose of obtaining goods, services, and/or employment, committing a crime, gaining a benefit or hiding a real identity. It can include a consumer’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate information, student transcript data and medical record information.
Remember, identity theft is not limited to credit fraud. In fact, credit-related identity theft accounts for only a small amount of the identity theft incidents reported to the FTC each year.
Someone can misuse your driver's license number, make counterfeit checks using your personal information, use your identity to rent an apartment or apply for a payday loan, or give your name and other identifiers to the police if they’re arrested. These activities and others have nothing to do with your credit history.
Often confused with the “deep web” which is simply those parts of the internet not indexed by any search engine, the “dark web” includes those sites that take measures to hide their IP address to remain anonymous. The most notorious sites on the dark web are those with illegal activities such as the sale of stolen information (think credit/debit card data and personal identifiers that can be used to commit identity theft), drug sales, weapon sales and pornography.
Credit and debit card fraud, sometimes referred to as “existing account fraud,” occurs when a thief steals information on an existing account and then uses it to make use of that account, such as for making unauthorized purchases.
In contrast, “new account fraud” happens when the thief uses the victim’s personally identifiable information to establish an entirely new account of which the victim has no knowledge.
Your credit score is a numerical representation of the history of credit use found in your credit report. Your credit report lists the details of your credit history, which can include creditor names, addresses, loan amounts, credit limits, payments made on time or past due, and amount of monthly payments.
No. Many reports contain errors. If you find an account on your credit report you don’t recognize, call that creditor and ask them to tell you whether there is an account that was opened with the use of your personal identifying information, particularly, your Social Security number.
Federal law ensures that all Americans have the right to get a free credit report every 12 months from all three of the consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Get yours for free by visiting https://www.AnnualCreditReport.com, calling 1-877-322-8228 or downloading this request form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Although most credit reports contain the same information, there is a chance that one credit report might have data that a different credit-reporting agency doesn’t have. If you get credit scores that are each based on a different credit report, you could see different credit scores.
It’s unlikely the Social Security Administration will issue a new number for limited identity theft. In fact, getting a new social security number would probably create a new set of problems for you. Remember that your Social Security number is connected to your employment, tax, education and medical records. Seeking a new Social Security number is only considered in extreme situations.
If someone has used your social security number, the best first step is to sign up for IDShield and let our systems and licensed investigators protect your identity from further abuse and develop a plan to secure your accounts.
A fraud alert is a statement on your credit report indicating that you’re vulnerable to becoming a victim or have been a victim of identity theft. It asks a credit reviewer to take reasonable extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant, reducing the chance a thief will succeed in opening new accounts.
While fraud alerts are a great tool, they should not be considered complete protection. There are many other ways thieves can use your personal identification information to steal money and commit fraud beyond credit cards, such as filing false tax returns or initiating fraudulent transfers from your bank accounts, which fraud alerts to do not protect against.