Identity Theft is Hilarious but It’s No Laughing Matter

Stealing someone else’s personal information to commit theft or fraud—also known as identity theft—has exploded into the national consciousness. Credit card companies now market their security features and consumers warily guard their Social Security numbers. And it doesn’t stop there. The use of stolen Social Security numbers allows thieves to steal tax refunds, open bank accounts and do all manner of illegal operations using another’s identity.

Recently I saw the comedy movie, “Identity Theft.” Because it is so entertaining, the story comes off as fictionalized in a way that could not possibly play out that way in real life. The sobering truth is that this exact scenario is being played out every day. Unsuspecting people are having their identities stolen and their futures compromised as thieves open credit card accounts, finance new cars and clean out bank accounts.

Identity theft has become epidemic! And it’s not just the thievery. It’s the months and even years of hassle and expense working with police, banks and credit agencies, trying to get things straightened out. And in the meantime? The fallout can be devastating because when it comes to identity theft you’re pretty much guilty until you can prove yourself innocent. And even then you may never be made whole.

For me, the risk of having my identity stolen is so great, I carry insurance. Lifelock is the company I use because it has proven to me that it can stay ahead of thieves. Lifelock monitors my identity constantly scanning for threats. And if something should ever get past them (hard to imagine, but thieves using sophisticated technology are very clever these days), I have a $1 million dollar guarantee. That’s how much Lifelock will spend to restore what has been stolen including my money, my good name and credit score.

Routinely, I read horror stories from readers who discovered too late just how vulnerable they were. What a mess. They file police reports and contact credit bureaus, usually with nothing more than a  promise that “We’ll get back to you when we can.” I’m not willing to sit around for months waiting for someone else to find the time to look at my situation. You should not be either. You cannot afford the risk.

Of course there are other identity theft protection plans. Wells Fargo offers two levels of protection as does the company Identity Guard and each comes with different types of coverage and premiums. I have chosen Lifelock because I believe in this company. I’ve been a satisfied Lifelock member for nearly a decade, and highly recommend the service. For about $20 a month, I get cheap insurance from a reliable company that watches out for me. It’s hard to put a price on peace of mind. You can get that rate, too, when you go to Lifelock.com and use the code EC30 to join.They were also kind enough to not only give our readers a great discount, but also 30 days free to get you started.

I laughed during “Identity Theft,” not so much because Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are hilarious in their roles, but because I didn’t spend one second worrying that this could happen to me.

Question: How concerned are you that your identity could be stolen? Do you know anyone who’s been through it?

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5 replies
  1. L
    L says:

    Mary, what criteria should we use to compare the services offered by these protection companies? My credit union has offered all its account holders (for $1.95 a month) identity protection through ID Protect. The blerb they sent outlined the features and there were items included I wouldn’t have thought I might need (child care coverage if I needed to travel to address the problem for example). There are probably options that this company doesn’t offer that I might need but have no idea now what they are. Any suggestions? Also, awhile ago I reviewed Lifelock and there was some feature mentioned that was offered in all states but not NY which is where I reside. Perhaps this is a non-essential feature but I’m running blind on this topic! You’ve been mega helpful on all things financial in the past, many thanks for all you do on behalf of your readers!

    Reply
    • Guest
      Guest says:

      Here’s my criteria: I have to assume that my identity is going to be stolen. Given this, what will my ID protection service do for me in that event? Many of them don’t do squat after the fact. A service that only offers to prevent ID theft is not worth using. I know that LifeLock offers the help and the money necessary to repair and restore. That’s my criteria.

      Reply
  2. Emjay
    Emjay says:

    Do we know anyone who has endured ID theft? You betcha. We have been victims 4 times, and we are now patronizing Lifelock. All ID theft activity has stopped! Actually, the local police think the subsequent 3 times all stemmed from the first time. The first time, the theft included an international ring operating out of Britain, and that interested the FBI, which has advised us NOT to put our identifying numbers on any checks. Once, a mortgage company called us from another state and asked if we were trying to refinance our house . (No we were not.) It seems the company had received a request from a suspicious address in Florida! Now, I show my license to clerks, but if they insist on writing or entering info into the computer even after I explain the FBI advice, I use my credit card and tear up the check. LIfelock is wonderful insurance but we also are vigilant. One more thing: We pay off our credit card every month. This is why it all works.

    Reply

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