Thursday, December 20, 2007

Identity Theft!

Last week Mr. Mister was talking to a friend. He had just found out that his wife's identity had been stolen! They have spent hours trying to get it corrected, but it will take a lot more before everything is fixed again.

Today, I was watching Montel, and they were talking about identity theft being one of the fastest growing crimes in America. This is not only happening to adults. It is happening to children as well. One of the guests on the show had his identity stolen when he was seven years old, and didn't find out about it until he had graduated from high school and was trying to go to college. They wouldn't give him a student loan because they said he had $40,000.00 in debt on his credit. Someone had apparently bought a house boat using his name and social security number. He is still fighting to clear his credit today, and the collection agencies are trying to make him pay the money back even though it wasn't him.

Todd Davis was on the show talking about his company called LifeLock. I went to their website and this is what they say about their program:

Our job is to protect your good name. As a consumer, you have rights that allow you to take more control over who uses your identity and how they use it. We do the mechanics, the details if you will, to enforce those rights. And we stand behind our service with our $1,000,000 Service Guarantee. We charge $10 per month to do it.

Some of what we do, you can do yourself for free. The difference is that the only thing we think about is how to protect your Identity. Think of it this way: all of us can change our own oil, but most of us have it done by specialists. We'd like to think that what we do is more complicated than changing oil, but you get the idea.

Here's what we do:

First, we ask the credit bureaus to set fraud alerts on your behalf. Usually, this is done through our automated systems and the alerts are set within an hour. From time to time there may be a hitch and we have to do the first one manually, usually because they have a different address on file for you. If this happens, we'll tell you right away and do what needs to be done to get the alerts set. (In case you're wondering, we don't charge anything more for this and our Total Service Guarantee is still in effect from day one.)

Second, unless your circumstances change and you tell us not to, every 90 days or so we ask the credit bureaus to do it again. You can do this for free if you'd prefer, but we make sure it gets done and that it gets done right. That's where the oil change analogy we were talking about kicks in.

Third, we request that your name be removed from pre-approved credit card and junk mail lists and we keep making the requests as they expire. Statistics show that this is one of the most common ways that thieves hijack identities. Plus, all that mail is just so irritating. Many of our clients tell us that this alone is worth the price. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can do this for free, but why not let us do it for you?

Fourth, we order your free credit reports on your behalf from the major credit bureaus and they are sent directly to you. We do this every year. You can also do this yourself for free (Pennzoil anyone?).

Fifth, hassling with lost or stolen wallets is no longer a problem with WalletLock™. If ever your wallet goes missing, just give us a call – anytime, anywhere – and a WalletLock specialist will contact each credit card, bank or document issuing company, cancel your affected accounts and complete the paperwork and steps necessary to replace your lost documents*, including your credit/debit cards, driver’s license, social security card, insurance cards, checkbook – even travelers checks - at no additional cost.

Last, but certainly not least: If your Identity is stolen while you are our client, we're going to do whatever it takes to recover your good name. If you need lawyers, we're going to hire the best we can find. If you need investigators, accountants, case managers, whatever, they're yours. If you lose money as a result of the theft, we're going to give it back to you.

We will do whatever it takes to help you recover your good name and we will spend up to $1,000,000 to do it.

We don't think you will see a guarantee like this anywhere else from any other company. If you do, let us know because we'd like to do business with them. There isn't much fine print in our Guarantee. To see the details, click here.

If you have a reason to think that you will become a victim of Identity Theft, we can help you stop looking over your shoulder, because we've got your back.

In todays world, this is definitely something to consider!

If you decide that LifeLock is something that you are interested in, you can get a discount by typing in Montel as the promotion code. You will then get it for $9.00 per month (per adult) instead of $10.00.


Mosaic*Queen said...

Hi Kathy!!!
Long time no see!!!
You are so right about the identity crime stuff. I know several people that this has happened to. What a nightmare!!!!
Anyway, I just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!!!
Hugs to you!!!

Greenie Gardens said...

So sad that we have to deal with this sort of thing! I've heard that people can take pictures of your credit card while standing behind you in line by using their cell phone camera- crazy! Hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas. Stephanie