What is Identity Theft? How do thieves steal an identity? What do thieves do with a stolen identity? What are some current statistics regarding Identity Theft? How can I.D. TheftWise eliminate my risk of becoming a victim? What is the difference between the Bronze Protection and the Platinum Protection? What does the Bronze Resolution Assistance do for me? I don’t understand why (or how) the Platinum Protection is so comprehensive? How does Credit Monitoring work? How does the complete Restoration Services Benefit work? What is the length (or term) of the membership? Is the Platinum Protection cost effective? My credit card company or bank also offers I.D. theft protection. Why do I need I.D. TheftWise? What is Identity Theft? According to the FTC: identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft.
The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector. Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit. back to top How do thieves steal an identity?
Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold. According to the FTC: skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:
back to top What do thieves do with a stolen identity?
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
- Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
- Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.
Once they have your personal information, identity thieves use it in a variety of ways. Here is what the FTC says: Credit card fraud:
Phone or utilities fraud:
- They may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report.
- They may change the billing address on your credit card so that you no longer receive bills, and then run up charges on your account. Because your bills are now sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem.
- They may open a new phone or wireless account in your name, or run up charges on your existing account.
- They may use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating, or cable TV.
Government documents fraud:
- They may create counterfeit checks using your name or account number.
- They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks.
- They may clone your ATM or debit card and make electronic withdrawals in your name, draining your accounts.
- They may take out a loan in your name.
- They may get a driver's license or official ID card issued in your name but with their picture.
- They may use your name and Social Security number to get government benefits.
- They may file a fraudulent tax return using your information.
back to top What are some current statistics regarding Identity Theft? According to the 2006 Identity Fraud Survey Report - released by the Council of Better Business Bureaus and Javelin Strategy & Research:
- They may get a job using your Social Security number.
- They may rent a house or get medical services using your name.
- They may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.
According to the US General Accounting Office:
- Annually there’s a 1 in 25 chance that you’ll become an identity theft victim - one identity is compromised every 4 seconds.
- There were 8.9 million adult victims of identity theft in the U.S. during 2006 and that the average amount of fraud per case was $6,383.
- Almost half (47 percent) of all identity theft is perpetrated by friends, neighbors, in-home employees, family members or relatives - someone known - when the victim can identify the perpetrator of data compromise.
- The 35-44 demographic age group has the highest average fraud amount ($9,435). (Note: victims’ age was not found to be statistically related to Internet usage as compared to traditional types of fraud.)
- Generation X (ages 25-34) has the highest rate of identity fraud at 5.4 percent. The average fraud amount for this demographic is $6,270 as compared to the average fraud amount for the 65+ segment which is $2,665.
back to topHow can I.D. TheftWise eliminate my risk of becoming a victim?
- Over 85% of all identity theft victims are between 18 and 59.
- Depending on severity, resolution time range is 5 – 600 or more hours per incident; the average is 175 hours.
Our Platinum Program
uses a combination of technologies to detect identity theft at its earliest stages, restore your credit and prevent further damage. What this means to you is, you are alerted if anyone uses your Social Security number, accesses your credit report or applies for an account in your name.
The good news is, if caught immediately, the out-of-pocket expense and time spent resolving problems are drastically reduced. As such, our Platinum Membership
service takes immediate action to notify your various creditors, the major credit agencies and government agencies.
Our Platinum Membership
helps you, as a victim of identity theft, by quickly stopping the financial losses and by doing the work of recovering your identity for you – freeing up your time and money for other more important things. back to topWhat is the difference between the Bronze Protection and the Platinum Protection?
Both memberships provide assistance to victims of identity theft. The Bronze program is designed for resolution assistance. It provides you the basic tools in an I.D. Theft Resolution Kit; for you to re-solve an identity breach on your own with verbal assistance as needed.
The Platinum Program is designed with complete restoration services and credit monitoring in mind. The Platinum Program includes a combination of technologies to detect identity theft at its earliest stages, restore your credit and prevent further damage. What this means to you is, you are alerted if anyone uses your Social Security number, accesses your credit report or applies for an account in your name.
With the Platinum Membership’s credit monitoring feature you are immediately alerted when someone attempts to use your identity to obtain credit. Additionally, all of the identity restoration work is done for you – freeing up your time for more important things.back to top What does the Bronze Resolution Assistance do for me?
The complimentary Bronze membership provides Identity Theft resolution assistance in the form of an I.D. Theft Response Kit. This includes all the tools and instructions necessary to cope with having your identity stolen. Additionally, I.D.TheftWise’ 24/7 Emergency Call Center service is free to all Bronze members by simply making a toll-free call, from anywhere in the world. Simply provide your membership number, which is provided to you at the time of activation, to receive information and assistance regarding correcting the damage to your identity. The benefits of this service include assistance with canceling and replacing all credit cards and assistance with placement of fraud alerts with credit reporting agencies. We feel this is a tremendous first step to helping all of our customers who fall victim to identity theft – providing piece of mind. back to topI don’t understand why (or how) the Platinum Protection is so comprehensive?
Recovering from identity theft is a time-consuming process. Victims spend an average of 175 hours recovering from an identity theft, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. This is time many of us cannot afford to spend. That is why I.D.TheftWise is also offering the comprehensive Platinum program as an upgrade.
The Platinum benefits start with the assistance benefits of the Bronze membership and add an assigned team of personal advocates to actually perform all of the restoration work for you. The merits of the Platinum program include a full suite of Credit Monitoring benefits designed to alert you of any changes to your credit report and provide an ongoing resource for credit report review. Identity Restoration benefits provide an assigned team of advocates to perform all of the time-consuming work to restore your credit and identity, if a breach occurs, freeing up your time for more important things. Finally, the Identity Theft Expense Coverage reimburses victims for certain expenses, including lost wages and legitimate out-of-pocket expenses, related to the theft, up to $25,000 with no deductible.
No other Identity Theft Protection Membership brings together such a complete suite of benefits as I.D. TheftWise. With such industry leading partners as Europ Assistance USA, TransUnion and AIG – the breadth of our service and protection is un-paralleled. back to topHow does Credit Monitoring work?
With real-time, 24/7 credit detection, we alert you when changes happen to your credit file. You will receive email Credit Monitoring Notification Alerts for changes such as:
- Critical changes to credit reports
- Changes to existing accounts
- Inquiries into your credit file
- Address changes
- New collection accounts
- Credit limit increases
- Changes to public records
By staying alert and vigilant, you can minimize the potential impact of a credit breach. You will know immediately if anyone accesses your credit or uses your SSN to obtain credit from anywhere in the world. The good news is, if caught immediately, the out-of-pocket expense and time spent resolving problems are drastically reduced. This important benefit is included with the comprehensive suite of benefits available to the Platinum Member. back to topHow does the complete Restoration Services Benefit work?
One phone call from you, to our 24/7 Emergency Action Center triggers our step-by-step attack on Identity Theft. In the event you become a victim of identity theft, one toll-free phone call, from anywhere in the world, will put a team of specialist to work - taking immediate action to notify your various creditors, the major credit agencies and government agencies. A team of advocates, assigned to your case, will perform the following on your behalf:
back to topWhat is the length (or term) of the membership?
- Provide participant with a uniform I.D. Theft Affidavit, answer any questions and submit affidavit to the proper authorities, credit bureaus and creditors
- Obtain list of creditors and contact them with itemized fraudulent account statements for each fraudulent occurrence
- Report fraudulent activity to the local authorities
- Notify fraud department of participant’s creditors
- Notify all three major credit reporting agencies of identity theft
- Assist participant in placing a “fraud alert” on his/her credit report
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission
- Provide the participant with a helpful I.D. Theft Emergency Response Kit
- Translate whenever necessary, such as when a caller is overseas and needs communication assistance
- Provide emergency cash advance when theft occurs away from home
- Draft a victim impact letter
- Determine best legal or other action to take against creditors or how to work with credit bureaus when necessary
- Give advice for ancillary problems caused by identity theft
The complimentary Bronze Membership is for a period of 12 months. Likewise, an upgrade to the comprehensive Platinum membership provides two options: 1) the standard of a 12 month membership or 2) a 36 month membership at a substantial savings – the cost of which only slightly exceeds twice the 12 month membership cost. back to topIs the Platinum Protection cost effective?
You protect your house, your car, and your health. Would you pay the same amount to protect your identity? For a lot less than any of those costs – you can protect your most valuable asset – your identity. As an example, at a cost equivalent to just slightly above ten dollars a month, our 36 month Platinum Membership is not only affordable, but provides the assurance that you are protected from the fasted growing crime in America today. back to topMy credit card company or bank also offers I.D. theft protection. Why do I need I.D. TheftWise?
Did you read the terms of your protection offered by the other institutions? Chances are they offer terms and benefits similar to our Bronze Membership – at a cost to you. This is completely unlike our complimentary offer. They may include credit monitoring as a costly add-on. They probably don’t come close on the Restoration Services and Expense Re-imbursement Coverage provided with our Platinum Membership. What we have found is that these other plans offer pieces of our protection but typically don’t come close to providing the complete suite of services that our Platinum Membership provides. The decision is yours – we hope for the best but encourage you to plan for the worst. back to top