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If you’re wondering whether you could be a victim of identity theft, the answer is yes. In 2018, 14.4 million consumers were victims of identity fraud. Almost a quarter of victims were partially liable for the fraud committed against them.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
Identity theft? Not me! That’s for people who don’t know what they’re doing on the internet.
In my experience as an IT professional, everyone is susceptible to identity theft. It’s something that has happened in my own household – to my wife, Amy. Back in 2016, Amy got an Amazon credit card in the mail that she didn’t apply for.
It was scary. Someone out there had gotten ahold of my wife’s personal information and opened a credit card in her name. We even had a few of our loyalty points cashed in at Kohl’s and Walmart (back when they had the Savings Catcher), with the merchandise delivered to other states.
Although, the strangest thing that’s happened was getting a subscription to Cosmopolitan that we never paid for and can’t seem to get rid of.
When Amy reached out to an identity theft insurance company after the Amazon incident, she was told it was a “pre-existing” issue. And most identity theft companies don’t cover events after they happen, which makes getting identity theft insurance ahead of time even more important.
One company I came across is IdentityIQ.
IdentityIQ can protect you against identity fraud. If a fraudster opens credit cards in your name, uses your cards to make fraudulent purchases, or compromises your personal accounts, they can help.
What is IdentityIQ?
IdentityIQ is an identity theft company that’s been around since 2010. The company protects against identity fraud by keeping a handle on your personally identifiable information (PII), such as your name, birthday, Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name, and employment history.
The identity fraud protection from IdentityIQ includes:
- Credit report monitoring
- Dark web monitoring
- Identity and Social Security number alerts
- Personal expense compensation
- Help if you lose your wallet
- Credit Score Tracker
- Protection for your whole family
How does IdentityIQ work?
IdentityIQ protects you and your family from identity fraud. The Credit Essentials plan includes credit report monitoring and alerts, with up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement.
You get text alerts for any compromise that involves your personal information. If someone opens a credit account in your name, you’ll know about it. If your credit card number is stolen and someone racks up a big bill, IdentityIQ has got you covered.
The company also provides help if you lose your wallet along with credit score alerts, and a credit simulator.
Is IdentityIQ legit?
There are a lot of identity scams out there, so it’s hard to know what’s legit and what isn’t. Have you ever been contacted by a service you didn’t sign up for or get calls from automated systems looking to get your information? I’d bet that most of those are scammers looking to take advantage of you.
But companies like IdentityIQ can keep an eye out for you to protect against the sneakiest of schemes.
The company has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau, which has accredited them since 2017. Although they only have two reviews on Trustpilot, IdentityIQ has 4 out of 5 stars on the platform.
How much does IdentityIQ cost?
IdentityIQ has a Credit Essentials plan that provides comprehensive coverage. You get a free 7-day trial to give it a test drive and see if it’s right for you.
After that, it’s an affordable $34.99 per month.
The plan comes with credit bureau monitoring from all three agencies, dark web and internet monitoring, checking account reports, the ability to opt-out of junk mail, up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement, and more.
The ScoreCasterIQ provides updated information on your credit score, recommendations to improve your score, and simulations. Criminal records monitoring is included, along with protection for your family of up to $25,000 identity theft insurance and fraud restoration.
Is IdentityIQ right for you?
The million-dollar question is whether identity protection is something you should invest in.
I might be biased because I work in the tech industry, and I see first-hand how easy it is to get access to someone else’s information, but I think everyone should have some protection against identity theft.
To answer that question for yourself, look at your situation:
- Do you do a lot of things on the internet?
- Do you have a credit card?
- Do you have a checking account?
- Do you enjoy online shopping or social media?
If the answer is yes to any of these, you should consider identity theft protection.
The bottom line
No one likes to think about identity theft. If it happens to you, it could ruin your credit and take months to years to sort out. It could impact your ability to buy a home, get a car loan, find a place to rent, and your car insurance rates.
It happened to us, and it can happen to you. You’re much better off getting identity protection now before your personal information is compromised.