Identity Theft – Ratings Comparison - Premier Solutions International by pengxuebo



Identity Theft – Ratings Comparison

Identity theft affected 13 million Americans in 2011. It is the fastest growing crime in the country. The impacts to victims of identity theft are varied, often
requiring hundreds of hours to resolve. Choosing which protection policy offers the most value is not as easy as you might think. Many companies in this
 industry spend significant marketing dollars to lull you into a false sense of security, making you think you are covered when in fact, you are not. Some claim
to be able to prevent you from becoming a victim, which is impossible. While you can reduce your risk, you cannot prevent it from happening to you or your
loved ones – even your children. When you become a victim of identity theft and are dealing with such scenarios as being arrested, or attempting to work with
the Social Security Administration, the DMV, or even your local hospital, that is not the time you want to find out that the flashy policy you purchased does not
not actually get involved and do the restoration work on your behalf. Cleaning up a stolen identity is difficult and tedious work, and this site is dedicated to
helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages of various protection policies available.

We do not accept any advertising, remuneration, or compensation from any entity. Questions and comments are always welcome and may be directed to

                                                                                                               The Whole Skinny Team

      Rating                  #1                    #2                   #3                   #4                 #5                #6                #7

    Monthly Cost             $36.95               $39.90                 $35.98             $16.99              $34.50            $29.90           $25.98
  # Adults Covered             2                     2                     2                   2                   2                2                  2
 # Children Covered            4                     0                     0                   4                   2                0                  0
    Underwriting         LegalShieldsm,       Identity Rehab         Intersections         TrustedID           Lifelock          Equifax          Trilegiant
     Companies                Kroll
   BBB Accredited             Yes                  Yes                   Yes                 Yes                 Yes               Yes              No
     BBB Rating                A+                   A                    A+                   A                   B                A+               B+
 Level of Assistance        Complete             Complete              Limited             Limited             Limited           Limited          Limited
                           Restoration          Restoration           Resolution          Resolution          Resolution        Resolution       Resolution
   Credit Reports
    Credit Score
  Credit Monitoring
  Address Change
 Other Monitoring
   Fraud Alerts
 Credit Card Opt-
   Lost Wallet
SPAM Email Opt-
Junk Mail Opt-Out
Spyware Protection
Telemarketing Opt-
Information Bureau
  SSN Statement
   Sex Offender
  Attorney Phone
 Consultations for
    ANY matter
 Attorney Letters
 Written or Phone
Calls Made on Your
  Behalf for ANY
   Contract and
Document Attorney
   Motor Vehicle
  Legal Services
   Trial Defense
     IRS Audit
 24/7 Emergency
 Attorney Access
Preparation of your
Preparation of your
Health Care Power
    of Attorney
     Preparation of your
      Member Discount
      Towards All Other
       Legal Services
                                      Best                One of only two       Decent monitoring and       A great price, but         In early 2010,       Good credit      Poor.
                           overall value. Coverage     companies in the          related services, but      you get what you            LifeLock's          reports and
                            for identity theft and   country that provide        help and warranty is      pay for. No credit    misleading coverage           credit
                            many other everyday        complete identity       very limited for victims.    monitoring. Only          and business       monitoring, but
                             legal issues as well.    restoration. Good          Does not actually do      limited resolution.     practices earned      identity theft is
                             Access to attorneys     service, just a bit too   the work to restore your      Certainly better     them a $12 million    much more than
                                 and licensed        pricey for the amount      identity, only provides     than nothing but     FTC fine. Learn more     financial. This
                            investigators for the     of overall services         limited assistance.         weak where it   service does not
                            most comprehensive             provided.                                          really counts.                m           address the most
                             protection available                                                                                                           problematic
  THE WHOLE SKINNY         including professional                                                                                                              areas

* Certain services are included only by select retailers or independent associates directly, not by the underwriting companie s. Ask your representative for details.
** Level of Assistance. The Whole Skinny defines “Complete Restoration” as a service that actually does the work on your behalf to restore your identity, and
“Limited Resolution” as one that only helps the member through the process.

Protection from identity theft is critical – but don’t get milked by a poor service!

Our ratings seek to provide a fair, unbiased description and ranking of each service, based on total overall value for an average famil y of two adults
and two children.

What surprises most individuals is the amount of time it takes to properly restore a stolen iden tity – 175 hours or more. Buyer beware - most services
do not actually do the work on the member’s behalf to restore their identity - most only provide assistance.

Identity theft is much like a house fire. If your house is burning, you don’t want the fire department to show you how to hook up the hose – you want
them to put out the fire! Make sure the service you have in place actually does the restoration work on your behalf instead o f just limited assistance.

Here's the WHOLE SKINNY on each service - enjoy!

#1 ID Shield + LELP ($36.95/month)
This combination of services receives our highest recommendation because of its tremendous overall value. Identity theft is a legal issue and this service provides
unparalleled coverage not just for identity theft, but for any other legal issue as well. While everyone knows that attorneys are often needed for identity theft, we
love that this service allows members to contact the attorneys about other issues too. It is a combination of several programs including the ID Theft Shield
(services provided through Kroll), a Life Events Legal Plan (services provided via LegalShield Services), and numerous additional resources provided only
through select retailers or independent associates.

New members begin with an identity verification system that requires correct answers to questions only the member would know. Once completed, members
receive daily credit monitoring of their Experian credit file (with the option available to add both Equifax and TransUnion monitoring for an additional $3 per month).
As to credit reports, most other services solely utilize a free service ( to order credit reports on the member’s behalf, which is
somewhat limited in scope that often does not have a credit score associated with it. This service provides a complete Experian credit report via First American
Credco, a personal credit score, and a detailed analysis. What is also different than most other services is what happens if you become a victim of any kind of
identity theft – actual restoration.

When the covered member becomes a victim of any type of identity theft, a licensed private investigator is assigned to your c ase from Kroll, the world’s leading risk
consulting company. Kroll maintains the highest possible rating and accreditation (A+) with the Better Business Bureau. The investigator assigned to you handles
nearly all of the work on your behalf. You must still do certain things that a service cannot legally do on your behalf such as filing a police report. This is vastly
superior to typical “resolution” services that only assign a specialist to help you through the process. The investigator works on your behalf with credit card
companies, financial institutions, all three credit repositories, Federal Trade Commission, Social Security Administration, DMV, US Postal Service, law
enforcement personnel and any other organizations that may be affected. Fraud alert notifications are sent on your behalf to all three credit repositories, SSA,
FTC, USPS, and affected credit card companies and financial institutions. Further proactive searches of applicable local and national databases are made on your
behalf to look for information you may not be aware of including criminal activity in your name, DMV records, unknown addres ses, and fraudulent banking activity.

A spouse, as well as all household minors, are all included. The service provides valuable material on credit education for minors, advice on best practices for the
use of a child’s SSN and personal identifying information, and more. The service will monitor for the existence of a credit file and notify you should anything be
found. The same licensed private investigators are available to address any issues regarding child identity theft on your behalf.

Members are also provided with the resources to reduce prescreened credit card offers, SPAM email, junk mail, and telemarketing calls, vie w their Medical
Information Bureau file, view their SSA earnings statement, order their credit reports, check their credit score anytime, and view registered sex offender reports in
their area – all completely free.

When combined with a Life Events Legal Plan (LELP), the overall value increases significantly, because the additional legal benefits need not have anything to do
with identity theft. All members receive access to top rated law firms for a variety of free or discounted legal services provided vi a the largest legal services
provider in North America, LegalShieldsm which also maintains the highest possible rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (A+). While services
do vary by state because of licensing limitations, residents of most states will receive free services such as the ability to contact an attorney for advice on any
issue – even personal, business, or pre-existing issues. Again, it need not have anything to do with identity theft whatsoever. The attorneys will review contracts
or documents (up to 10 pages per contract) at no charge. The attorneys can also place phone calls or write letters on your be half to help you deal with difficult
circumstances or situations – no charge. The attorneys will even prepare a will, health care power of attorney (living will), and physician’s directive for the primary
member and spouse – completely free of charge. Each year, upon request, the attorney will update the primary member’s documents for free. Spouse annual will
updates are only $20. How important is it to have these documents properly prepared by an attorney? In our opinion, this benefit alone pays for the membership.

The law firm will also assist with moving traffic violations at no additional cost. Additionally, the law firm will defend all covered family members if charged with
manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, or vehicular homicide. Plus, members receive up to 2.5 hours for help with damage recovery,
driver’s license assistance, and personal injury legal expenses at no additional cost.

Included as well at no cost, members receive 75 hours of your law firm’s time for trial defense if a covered member is named defendant or respondent in a covered
civil or job-related criminal action filed in court. Each year, for the first five years, the number of hours on your trial defense “bank” increase as well. Members also
receive up to 50 hours of law firm’s time if they are audited by the IRS. Members even receive access to attorneys 24/7 at no charge for emergency situations.
For any other legal event or issue not specifically indicated above, members will receive a 25% discount from the law firm’s standard rate. These include, but are
not limited to, divorce, child custody, adoption, name change, DUI, etc.

Features, benefits, and prices vary by state. Discounted rates are available when offered as an optional or fringed employee benefit.

Because of the volume, quality, and value of legal and identity theft services provided, in tandem with the underwriting companies (LegalShield and Kroll)
maintaining the highest BBB rating and accreditation available, this service earns our highest recommendation.
#2 IDWatchdog ($39.90/month – does not include children)
IDWatchdog begins with an identity verification process to make sure you are you. Then an Identity Profile Report is compiled for the member to help identify
potential problems such as incorrect addresses associated with your records. Once your profile is established, the service monitors “thousands of databases” for
your identity each month.

If suspicious activity surfaces, an “ID SnapShot” is taken. This is a compilation of various information associated with your identity such as credit reports, DMV
information, criminal checks, sex offender registry, SSN trace, Terrorist Watch List, bankruptcies, liens, and judgments.

What we really like about this service is that they provide experts to do most of the work for you, under a limited power of attorney if you become a victim. Only
one other product (ID Theft Shield) provides this level of service.

Two major items prevent IDWatchdog from obtaining our top recommendation – high price and absence of any legal benefits. First, at $39.90 per month for two
adults, this service is very expensive, and children are not even included in this rate. Secondly, the service and its specialists are limited to helping members solely
for identity theft. Identity theft is just one of many legal issues commonly faced by everyone, so for that price we would expect a broader range of services and

#3 IdentityGuard ($19.98 - $35.98/month – coverage for children not available)
IdentityGuard offers three levels of service: Watchful Eye, Extra Caution, and Total Protection. Watchful Eye provides one-bureau credit monitoring, internet
surveillance, and credit report and score. The next level, Extra Caution, monitors all three credit bureaus and provides a 3 -in-1 credit report with score. The highest
level of protection, Total Protection, adds identity monitoring, public record report and monitoring, ID Vault, Mobile Lockbo x, PrivacyProtect, ZoneAlarm Internet
Security Suite, and limited insurance coverage.

This service provides some nice features that computer users will appreciate such as anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software, password protection options,
and wi-fi encryption options. The service also crawls (monitors) certain internet chat rooms and newsgroups for yo ur personal data. Support specialists are
available to help cancel your cards if you lose your wallet, and access to credit education specialists. A very limited $1 mi llion reimbursement policy is provided
through Travelers Insurance. It enjoys the highest rating possible with the Better Business Bureau – A+.

But what happens if you actually become a victim of identity theft? They do not actually do the work to restore your identity. They will give you access to their
Identity Theft Recovery Unit for guidance though. Better than nothing, but prepare yourself for a great deal of frustration.

 #4 TrustedID ($16.99/month)
This service focuses solely on identity theft, but offers no assistance for other legal issues or events. “IDFreeze” features include their promise to alert you if they
find your credit card number, SSN, name, address, or bank account number being used on any of the black market internet sites they patrol. In truth, black market
internet sites comprise only a fraction of identity theft. While it is helpful to know your information is on a fraudulent site, actually fixing the problem is much more
important. While the service promises an “On-Call Protection Specialist” to help you, it does not offer to actually perform the restoration for you. According to the
Arizona Attorney General, it takes an average of 607 hours for a victim to restore their identity. So, while some help is bet ter than nothing, we expect typical victims
will be disappointed to find this coverage does not actually do the work necessary on their behalf. The protection specialists will help you cancel your credit cards
and replace them if you take advantage of their lost wallet protection feature.
The service also provides you with an “Identity Theft Score” to supposedly gauge your risk of identity theft. In our opinion, any such score is arbitrary and virtually
meaningless as identity theft can occur because of an almost limitless number of foreseeable and unforeseeable factors. The s ervice will help you (not do it for
you) place fraud alerts if you are at risk of identity theft. Specialists will help you review your medical benefits statement for possible identity fraud. Junk mail and
pre-approved credit card offer removal. It enjoys a rating of “A” with the Better Business Bureau.

Members also receive anti-spyware software for up to three computers. Credit reports will be ordered via (a free service you can do
yourself). A $1,000,000 warranty is offered, but read carefully as it has significant limits, conditions, and exclusions.
#5 LifeLock ($24.50/month - $34.50/month)
After losing a federal lawsuit filed against Experian in 2009 for deceptive business practices, LifeLock is attempting to rei nvent its service. In addition to their
standard protection package, a new service called “LifeLock Command Center” is also now available. Unfortunately, we maintain the same concerns with LifeLock
Command Center as we do with their basic service – specifically that LifeLock will only provide help if you become a victim of identity theft due to a defect in their
service. A million dollar guarantee is not worth much if the strings attached are so significant as to potentially nullify any help. W hen you become a victim, it is rare
to know how it actually happened. Having to prove to a service you are paying for that it was their fault is the last thing you want to have to deal with when you
become a victim of identity theft.

Once again, this is another service that only helps you through the process of recovery – not a service that actually does the work of restoration on your behalf.
LifeLock’s basic services search the Web for the illegal commerce of your personal information (eRecon) and looks for mailing address changes. It also orders
your free annual credit reports on your behalf. If it finds your information being used for certain forms of credit or servic es, it alerts you. It requests your name be
removed from pre-approved credit card offer lists (another item you can do yourself for free) and provides assistance in cancelling and replacing items like credit
cards should your wallet be stolen. It enjoys the highest rating possible with the Better Business Bureau (A+).

In addition to their basic services, LifeLock’s enhanced service (Command Center) actively monitors unregulated internet and file-sharing networks (such as pier-
to-pier sites) for your personal information, alerts you, and helps protect you. It also scans for any payday loan activity using your personal information. It lists sex
offender records for your zip code (another service that you can do yourself for free). It lists postal addresses and possible alternate names associated with your
identity found in public records. Finally, it lists court records that match certain personal information from county courts, Departments of Corrections, offices of
Administration of Courts and other legal agencies. This can potentially help identify criminals using your identity to commit crimes.

In summary, while LifeLock continues to be an expert self-promoter and marketer, we feel it falls short when it comes to what really matters – cleaning up the mess
in which victims find themselves. While its various services do a decent job at attempting to proactively prevent certain types of identity theft from happening, the
sad truth is that this crime is just not preventable.

Monitoring of various databases is great, but finding a problem is only the beginning of the problem. What is most important is to have a service in place that
actually does the work on your behalf to restore your identity which this service does not promise. More information about LifeLock can be seen

 #6 Equifax ID Patrol (29.90/month – does not include children)
This service is a part of Equifax, one of the three main credit bureaus. As such, its benefits seem to focus primarily on cre dit/financial identity theft, which
comprises less than 20% of the crime.

The member receives credit monitoring of all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) with alerts sent to you. It provides you the ability to lock your
Equifax credit report and place fraud alerts. It also scans the internet looking for unauthorized uses of your SSN, debit, or credit cards. You are provided with a 3-
in-1 credit report each year and unlimited Equifax credit reports. If you become a victim of identity theft, it provides you a I D Theft Resolution Specialist to help you
resolve issues. Note – they help you through the process, they do not do the work on your behalf.

Their $1 million guarantee, much like that of LifeLock, is quite limited in scope. Very expensive, very limited product. You can do better elsewhere.

#7 Wells Fargo ($25.90/month)
This service is not actually provided by Wells Fargo. They have subcontracted or outsourced this service to Affinion, also known as Trilegiant, which has a less
than stellar record with the Better Business Bureau. When you become a victim of identity theft, be prepared to do a great deal of work on your own because this
coverage is very limited.

                                                 Please direct any questions or comments to

To top