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Identity theft protection services
Old 01-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #1
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Identity theft protection services

I'm curious about opinions of identity theft protection services like Lifelock. Has anyone used them and if so are they worth the cost? I'm watching my accounts carefully since the Target hacking, but I worry about the things going on I'm not aware of.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:15 PM   #2
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I don't use any but I used to do fraud investigation so I already know what to do. It isn't that hard - watch your credit reports for accounts appearing that you didn't open, pay attention to your financial statements in fine detail.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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I do check my credit reports, but they are free only once a year, so checking them often can get expensive. That's why I'm interested in a service that might monitor any activity for me.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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I do check my credit reports, but they are free only once a year, so checking them often can get expensive. That's why I'm interested in a service that might monitor any activity for me.
Spend the money and put a lock on your credit access instead.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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Agreed. A freeze on your credit bureau information is far safer, though it can be a bit of a hassle at times.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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If you ever shopped at Target, they're offering 1 yr free monitoring thru Experian. Info is here:

https://creditmonitoring.target.com/#?v=1B18FB011314
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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If you ever shopped at Target, they're offering 1 yr free monitoring thru Experian. Info is here:

https://creditmonitoring.target.com/#?v=1B18FB011314
Thanks for the link. I've been waiting for it and may sign up.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:29 PM   #8
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I have a 1 year 'free' subscription to Protect My ID which appears to be offered by Experian. It was offered by my former employer which happens to be the federal government. Evidently there was an incident where thousands of employee and former employee identification was stolen. Lucky me! It appears that there has been no problem as of yet since the incident was last year somewhere around April or May. Unfortunately very little info is ever given to the potential victims so we really don't know how it happened.

The monitoring service did notify me recently when I joined PenFed CU and they pulled my credit report. So I guess the service does work at least for credit report activity.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #9
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On a side note, I made a purchase at a Target store on 12/16, the day after the period of this hack attack. I got notification from MyUPS yesterday that Target.com is sending me an envelope/package via UPS and USPS. I'm curious if it's something related to this since I didn't order anything from them. Anyone else get a notification about a scheduled delivery?
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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On a side note, I made a purchase at a Target store on 12/16, the day after the period of this hack attack. I got notification from MyUPS yesterday that Target.com is sending me an envelope/package via UPS and USPS. I'm curious if it's something related to this since I didn't order anything from them. Anyone else get a notification about a scheduled delivery?
No, and it sounds a bit strange. Not a link I'd open.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:16 PM   #11
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No, and it sounds a bit strange. Not a link I'd open.
It's not a link, it's a legitimate delivery. I subscribe to MyUPS, so it's a package that's coming to my house on Thursday. This is a cheaper delivery service where UPS starts the process and it finishes thru USPS. Something USPS cooked up to save money supposedly.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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It's not a link, it's a legitimate delivery. I subscribe to MyUPS, so it's a package that's coming to my house on Thursday. This is a cheaper delivery service where UPS starts the process and it finishes thru USPS. Something USPS cooked up to save money supposedly.
This is strange. I've seen no announcements that Target is sending something by mail or any delivery service.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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It's not a link, it's a legitimate delivery. I subscribe to MyUPS, so it's a package that's coming to my house on Thursday. This is a cheaper delivery service where UPS starts the process and it finishes thru USPS. Something USPS cooked up to save money supposedly.
Do you have an online account with Target? If so you could log in and see if there is an order on your account. If not it sounds like you will have to wait and see what shows up Thurs.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:26 AM   #14
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I don't use any but I used to do fraud investigation so I already know what to do. It isn't that hard - watch your credit reports for accounts appearing that you didn't open, pay attention to your financial statements in fine detail.
Walt - from your experience perspective do you see benefits or drawbacks to freezing credit (for old retired folks who don't need new credit lines). I froze my credit at the three bureaus when I ERd. I unfroze it briefly when I wanted a CC with 50K miles. It was a bit of a hassle but seems sensible to avoid the worst of identity theft. If I still needed it open I would take advantage of Target's one year monitoring offer.

I have my CCs set to send me emails on use. If I saw a questionable charge I would follow up but I don't worry much about it since the CC companies are on the hook for anything over $50 and so far have covered every misuse I have encountered. I never use debit cards except my ATM card in bank ATMs.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #15
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Don't you have to give your SS number to the credit report company to see your credit report? Who are these credit report companies? Who monitors them? How do they protect our personal info? After a security problem, I was offered a 1-year free credit report monitoring. But, to get that service, I had to give my SS number to some unknown company. Just 'cause they do credit reports doesn't mean the company isn't run by some teenager in Bulgaria.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:35 AM   #16
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Do you have an online account with Target? If so you could log in and see if there is an order on your account. If not it sounds like you will have to wait and see what shows up Thurs.
I don't have an account with them. Never purchased anything from Target.com ever. I'll just have to wait until it shows up. That's why I'm thinking this is related to the hacking since my last purchase was in store Dec 16.

EDIT: Maybe I won a contest from them, maybe a gift card? I did enter a Target contest over the holidays. That's the only other thing I can think of..something positive would be nice.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #17
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I use credit freeze.

$10 for each of the three agencies to freeze.
Has no effect on current credit accounts
If you need to open a new account, $10 to un-freeze each agency. Then $10 each to re-freeze.

Each agency gives you a number you require to un-freeze. While I have never done it, it is suppose to be quick, if you have saved the numbers.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #18
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To those offering the advice of just "check your credit reports": THAT IS NOT ENOUGH. I am about to get the $17 per month service from Equifax that will freeze my new credit/loans at all three agencies and here is why:

A few months ago we were sitting around on a Sunday afternoon in the Midwest and we got a call from Loss Control at a Nordstroms in a San Diego mall asking my wife if she was presently trying to buy a $2000 leather coat with her N card. My wife replied No and by the time the security guards went back to the counter the perp was gone. Security was suspicious because the perp didn't even try the coat on.

This upset my wife and within a week she received a letter from Barclays congratulating her for buying a $2800 computer (in the same mall on that same Sunday) and had the payment schedule for her new loan.

My wife went through the usual horror process of trying to rectify all this, it took about two days of her time on the phone, sending certified letters, police reports, etc. The thieves had her social security number and were pro enough to do it out of state and on a weekend which makes it all the more difficult to fix.

So in sum, this advice as to just "check your credit reports" will be too little, too late, it's an AFTER THE FACT technique and the horse is out of the barn, small merchants will presume you're guilty. I will do what my wife did and create a pre-emptive defense by making sure my credit is locked ($17 a month) and no new loans can originate. I also use my dog's name for mother's maiden name. I understand it will be easy if I need to unlock my credit online, such as when I need to buy a new car.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #19
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I will do what my wife did and create a pre-emptive defense by making sure my credit is locked ($17 a month) and no new loans can originate. I also use my dog's name for mother's maiden name. I understand it will be easy if I need to unlock my credit online, such as when I need to buy a new car.
You can do the same thing for a one time fee with the three credit agencies. Then, future "freeze/unfreeze" events are also one time fees.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #20
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To those offering the advice of just "check your credit reports": THAT IS NOT ENOUGH. I am about to get the $17 per month service from Equifax that will freeze my new credit/loans at all three agencies and here is why:
Don't buy some monthly service, just go through the hassle and register at all three agencies. IIRC it costs a one time fee of $10 each. I think my original freeze was free. Is equifax offering some service to handle it all for you including unfreezing and refreezing when you need new credit? Even that should be a lot cheaper than $17/mth in my opinion. I can see maybe $25/year for that.
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