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Identity Theft FAQ's

1. How big a problem is Identity theft?

2. Who is LifeLock?

3. What does LifeLock do?

4. What is the price for the LifeLock service?

5. Does LifeLock have a family discount plan available?

6. Why does the entire family have to pay annually if there is a minor child listed in the family?

7. I prefer signing my family up monthly as opposed to annually, can you do this?

8. Why do children need protecting?

9. How do I access my account after enrollment?

10. What happens if I get a fraud alert letter from the credit bureaus stating they cannot find my minor child's credit profile?

11. What if I get a fraud alert letter form the credit bureaus that say my minor child’s fraud alerts have been set?

12. Do I have to give all my credit card numbers to you when I sign up?

13. Why do I need to add a previous address to my account?

14. Why does LifeLock need to know my personal information?

15. How do I know LifeLock’s system won’t be hacked by criminals or employees of LifeLock?

16. Can I enroll other family members later?

17. Can I obtain my credit score through your service?

18. How long does it take to obtain my credit reports?

19. Who will represent me if my identity gets stolen?

20. Does LifeLock cover my business as well as my personal credit?

21. What happens when I apply for credit?

22. Who calls me to let me know that someone is attempting to obtain credit in my name?

23. I’m applying for new credit and I’m a client, do I need to call LifeLock?

24. Is LifeLock going to call me if someone tries to use my information?

25. I already have alerts on my credit file, what will happen to them when I become a client of LifeLock?

26. Do I need to call you if any of my information changes on my account?

27. If someone steals my credit card number, how would LifeLock handle this?

28. Will signing up for LifeLock damage my credit score?

29. What questions will the creditor ask me for verification?

30. What if there's a dispute? Will you handle it for me?

31. I have been a victim of identity theft, can you help me?

32. If the consumer can do these things by themselves, what is the need for LifeLock?

33. Will I get $1 million if I become a victim of identity theft?

34. What is the most important part of the LifeLock service?

35. Who needs this protection the most?

36. What is the process if my information is taken while a customer?

37. Where does the $1 million come from that covers the guarantee?

38. Can LifeLock stop someone from removing money from my bank account?

39. If credit card companies will pay me back for anything criminals use, what does LifeLock do?

40. If I lost my wallet and someone used my credit cards and drained my bank account, what would LifeLock do?

41. Is it true that I need to sign a power of attorney with LifeLock?

42. Is there anyone else that does what LifeLock does?

43. If I shred papers and check my credit reports, will I be protected?

44. What would you consider to be the two or three most important things a consumer can do to protect his/her privacy?

45. Does LifeLock monitor credit cards?

46. What is the difference between credit card theft and identity theft?

47. What's the difference between fraud alerts and a credit freeze?

48. What makes you different than insurance companies?

49. Why doesn't LifeLock offer credit monitoring?

50. Why does everyone recommend credit monitoring and not a service like LifeLock?

51. Credit watch services have come into prominence thanks to the many breaches that have been publicized. What exactly is a credit watch, and what benefit does such a service offer the consumer?

52. How does a credit watch service work, and are there significant differences between the three major services (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax)?

53. When an organization offers a free credit watch subscription in response to a breach that may have affected a consumer, is the service different than what he or she would receive if they subscribed on their own?

54. What is the consumer's responsibility once a credit watch service is initiated? Is it a "turn it on and it works" proposition, or must the service be actively managed by the consumer to have any real effect?

55. Are there hidden costs, dangers, etc. to working with the credit agencies? What should consumers know that might be otherwise difficult to find out on their own?

<< Back to Identity Theft Main Page

1. How big a problem is Identity theft?

According to the FBI and the FTC, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Roughly 10 million Americans have their personal information stolen and misused in some way every year, costing consumers $5 billion and businesses $48 billion annually.

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2. Who is LifeLock?

LifeLock is a private company headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. The company began offering its service in April of 2005. LifeLock is the largest and fastest growing identity theft prevention company in the United States.

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3. What does LifeLock do?

LifeLock requests on your behalf that fraud alerts are placed on your accounts. By placing these fraud alerts, you are asking that creditors take extra care to identify who you are and to investigate the validity of any pending transaction. LifeLock also requests that your name be removed from pre-approved credit card lists and junk mail lists. In addition, LifeLock annually orders your free credit reports from the three major credit reporting bureaus.

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4. What is the price for the LifeLock service?

Only enrolling through PRO Insurance - $99/ year per adult OR $10/ month per adult $25/year for children 15 and under

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5. Does LifeLock have a family discount plan available?

No, we do not. Everyone has a different SSN and identity so LifeLock must charge a rate per person. The guarantee is also based upon per person.

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6. Why does the entire family have to pay annually if there is a minor child listed in the family?

The cost of billing $1 per month is prohibitive for the company.

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7. I prefer signing my family up monthly as opposed to annually, can you do this?

No, this is not an option at this time. Only adults can pay monthly.

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8. Why do children need protecting?

The identities of children are being stolen more often than you think. Criminals know they can use a child's information for years before being identified. By then, the thieves have run up major accounts and ruined credit for that child. LifeLock is just $25 a year for a child 15 and under with an adult paying annually.

If a child has a valid credit report, LifeLock will request that the fraud alerts are placed on the child's file. LifeLock also requests that a notation is placed on the report indicating that there should not be any activity on the file because the child is a minor. If a child does not have a credit report, as is usually the case, LifeLock confirms ever 90 days that that no credit report exists. In addition, LifeLock prepares a request to the Social Security Administration for a copy of the child’s work history to confirm that the child’s social security number is not being used fraudulently.

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9. How do I access my account after enrollment?

If you need to make a change to your account, contact client services at 1-877-LIFELOCK.

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10. What happens if I get a fraud alert letter from the credit bureaus stating they cannot find my minor child’s credit profile?

That is good, because your minor shouldn't have one. This letter can be ignored. If the child is a client they too are protected by the guarantee.

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11. What if I get a fraud alert letter form the credit bureaus that says my minor child's fraud alerts have been set?

That is good, this means that your child’s account is protected to the same extent as yours. We will also make sure that the credit bureaus are notified that this is a minor's account and there should be no activity on it.

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12. Do I have to give all my credit card numbers to you when I sign up?

No, LifeLock does not prevent anyone from using your existing accounts. However, those accounts would be covered through the guarantee. Through the information you provide, LifeLock will place alerts to help protect against anybody other than yourself opening new lines of credit. LifeLock suggests you place all your account numbers in a secure place if your wallet or purse is stolen. In such a case give LifeLock a call and LifeLock can help contacting the credit card companies to cancel the stolen cards and reissue new ones.

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13. Why do I need to add a previous address to my account?

If you have been at your current address for less than 10 years, the credit bureaus want your previous address in order to set the fraud alerts on your credit file. If you don’t give a previous address, then we need documentation to send to them to verify that it is you. To do this, we need a copy of your DL license and a utility bill with your name and address on it.

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14. Why does LifeLock need to know my personal information?

In order to request that the credit bureaus place fraud alerts on your behalf, we need your personal information to do so.

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15. How do I know LifeLock's system won’t be hacked by criminals or employees of LifeLock?

LifeLock is certified ISO 27001. This is the most stringent security certification within the industry and LifeLock is currently the only company in the identity theft prevention field who has achieved this status. LifeLock has taken every measure possible to keep information secure. Nevertheless, as a client of LifeLock you are still covered by our guarantee.

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16. Can I enroll other family members later?

Yes, call client services to enroll them.

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17. Can I obtain my credit score through your service?

While receiving one free credit report from each bureau each year is part of the standard LifeLock service, your credit score in not included. By law you are allowed one free credit score a year but you would have to initiate the request through the bureaus yourself. If you wish to obtain additional credit reports those too would need to be obtained directly from the bureaus.

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18. How long does it take to obtain my credit reports?

The credit bureaus have been getting a substantial amount of fraud alert requests and may take up to 4-6 weeks for you to receive your report. Although you may not have received your credit report, you are still covered by LifeLock from the time you signed up.

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19. Who will represent me if my identity gets stolen?

In the event that your identity is compromised, LifeLock will hire qualified professionals to assist you in addressing whatever complications may arise.

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20. Does LifeLock cover my business as well as my personal credit?

LifeLock can only cover individuals with Social Security numbers.

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21. What happens when I apply for credit?

After a fraud alert has been placed in your credit file, any creditor using that credit file to grant new credit or an extension of credit in your name must contact you by telephone (using the phone number specified in the fraud alert) or take reasonable steps to verify your identity and confirm that the credit application is not the result of identity theft. If someone else is trying to use your identity to get credit, the fraud alert usually stops them cold. We say "usually" because nothing is perfect. That's why we have a Guarantee.

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22. Who calls me to let me know that someone is attempting to obtain credit in my name?

It will be the creditor who is determining whether to issue a line of credit.

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23. I'm applying for new credit and I’m a client, do I need to call LifeLock?

No, it is not necessary to contact LifeLock. However, if you run into any problems or undue delays, call us at any time and we’ll expedite the process for you.

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24. Is LifeLock going to call me if someone tries to use my information?

No. LifeLock's system is designed for you to have control, so you will know before we do. The fraud alerts placed on your accounts ask creditors to call you if someone is trying to establish credit in your name.

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25. I already have alerts on my credit file, what will happen to them when I become a client of LifeLock?

Once your fraud alerts have expired, LifeLock will request on your behalf that the fraud alerts are reset and continue to do so as long as you stay a client or until you no longer believe that you may become a victim of identity theft. If you sign up as a client while these initial alerts are placed you will be covered by our guarantee at the time you sign up for the LifeLock service.

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26. Do I need to call you if any of my information changes on my account?

Yes, contact client services with any account changes.

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27. If someone steals my credit card number, how would LifeLock handle this?

The fraud alerts that LifeLock requests are designed to help prevent someone from opening a new line of credit. If someone gets your credit card number, first report that credit card as stolen. If charges were placed on that card, your credit card company should credit your account for some or all of the charges. Should you need assistance resolving the issue, call us and we'll expedite the process for you.

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28. Will signing up for LifeLock damage my credit score?

No, LifeLock will not affect your credit score in any way.

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29. What questions will the creditor ask me for verification?

The creditor will ask you questions that only you would know the answer to. Most questions will be taken off your credit report. For instance, your previous address, who your mortgage is through, what your car payment is, etc.

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30. What if there’s a dispute? Will you handle it for me?

If there is a dispute we will hire qualified professionals to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to resolve the problem.

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31. I have been a victim of identity theft, can you help me?

We can direct you to competent and reputable firms that specialize in Identity remediation. Our service can prevent further damage to your Identity, however, we our Guarantee does not cover issues which occurred prior to you becoming our client.

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32. If the consumer can do these things by themselves, what is the need for LifeLock?

Convenience and protection; for instance, most people could change the oil in their car but don't. LifeLock requests on your behalf that fraud alerts are placed on your credit report every 90 days so you don’t have to worry about it. However, the most important value is the $1 million dollar guarantee. Remember just because you have fraud alerts placed does not guarantee you from becoming a victim.

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33. Will I get $1 million if I become a victim of identity theft?

Not necessarily. We will reimburse you for any money you lose because of the theft and we will pay all costs associated with repairing the problem up to $1 million.

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34. What is the most important part of the LifeLock service?

The overall peace of mind you’ll get when you know you are completely protected from identity theft.

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35. Who needs this protection the most?

Any individual who has a social security number and assets to lose should be concerned with identity theft. While we have heard people say "I don’t have anything for them to take", criminals are better than you at making major purchases with your information.

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36. What is the process if my information is taken while a customer?

You should contact LifeLock immediately and we and the experts we hire will take care of the rest.

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37. Where does the $1 million come from that covers the guarantee?

The guarantee is underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance. LifeLock established this amount based upon analyzing the greatest single individual compromises in history.

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38. Can LifeLock stop someone from removing money from my bank account?

No, but the LifeLock guarantee will replace any funds the bank doesn’t.

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39. If credit card companies will pay me back for anything criminals use, what does LifeLock do?

While most credit cards will pay back items purchased by someone else once the card is reported stolen, there is still small print and a time period where everything must be reported. In any case, the LifeLock guarantee is intended to protect your credit and new cards and or bank accounts that could be issued.

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40. If I lost my wallet and someone used my credit cards and drained my bank account, what would LifeLock do?

After the bank and credit card companies do what they can, LifeLock will reimburse you for the rest of your losses. LifeLock can also hire professionals to work on your behalf to oversee the process so you are not out any time.

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41. Is it true that I need to sign a power of attorney with LifeLock?

Yes it is. This power of attorney is very limited and only allows us to work on your behalf regarding issues surrounding your identity. You may revoke this at any time.

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42. Is there anyone else that does what LifeLock does?

There are companies similar but no one has the experience, process or expertise. No other company provides a $1 million dollar guarantee.

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43. If I shred papers and check my credit reports, will I be protected?

Shredding personal papers is a great step to protect your identity, but you must understand that your information is everywhere. Your doctor, dentist, your college, your bank and your health club are examples of places your personal information is stored.

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44. What would you consider to be the two or three most important things a consumer can do to protect his/her privacy?

1. Set fraud alerts! They expire every 90 days, so you will need to continually renew them yourself or sign-up for LifeLock (www.lifelock.com) at $10 per month and we not only request that the alerts be renewed, we stop most pre-approved credit card offers and junk mail, and we back it up with a $1 million guarantee. 2. Check your credit report every three to four months to look for fraudulent activity. 3. Shred your mail and unneeded personal information.

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45. Does LifeLock monitor credit cards?

No, credit card companies do a fine job monitoring their own cards. LifeLock helps provide protection against someone applying for new credit cards in your name.

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46. What is the difference between credit card theft and identity theft?

Credit card theft is when someone steals your credit card and runs up charges. Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information (social security number, date of birth, name, etc.) and uses it to open a new line of credit, gain employment or even establish citizenship.

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47. What's the difference between fraud alerts and a credit freeze?

A credit freeze locks down all of your personal information making it impossible for anyone to open a line of credit in your name, including you. There are also fees involved with many credit freezes. When you place a freeze, you pay a fee. From there on, if you want to open any new line of credit (loan, credit card, cell phone) the freeze must be lifted; there will be a fee for that as well.

As of May 9, 2007, 33 states and the District of Columbia offer the credit freeze option, but if you are not in one of them, you cannot do this. Everyone can subscribe to LifeLock.

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48. What makes you different than insurance companies?

First and foremost, LifeLock prevents ID theft. Insurance companies do nothing to prevent anyone from using your personal information. Insurance companies will give you a policy to provide some financial coverage if you become a victim. However there are also several disclaimers on what is covered and not under these plans.

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49. Why doesn't LifeLock offer credit monitoring?

Credit monitoring will alert you after someone has stolen or used your identity. LifeLock wants to protect you before that ever happens. We have found that once our systems are in place, credit monitoring provides no additional benefit.

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50. Why does everyone recommend credit monitoring and not a service like LifeLock?

Credit monitoring is the old technology, but it is something with which people are familiar. LifeLock represents the new generation in Identity protection.

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51. Credit watch services have come into prominence thanks to the many breaches that have been publicized. What exactly is a credit watch, and what benefit does such a service offer the consumer?

Credit Monitoring (or a watch) is the credit bureau selling the consumer their own information. After there has been a change on your credit report, the bureau notifies you in 24 to 72 hours that there has been a change. It is then the consumer's responsibility to check the information for accuracy and by the way, if they find that it is a case of identity theft, the consumer is responsible for any losses, expenses and has to spend the time to clean up the mess. The Bureaus do nothing to actually prevent the crime of identity theft, nor do they help fix the problem.

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52. How does a credit watch service work, and are there significant differences between the three major services (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax)?

All three work basically the same, but it should be noted that each bureau only notifies you when there has been a change on their credit report.

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53. When an organization offers a free credit watch subscription in response to a breach that may have affected a consumer, is the service different than what he or she would receive if they subscribed on their own?

Monitoring may give the victim of the data breach a false sense of security. Again, the bureaus do nothing to actually stop the crime before it happens and do nothing to help after a person has been victimized. They only provide quick notification of a change, nothing more.

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54. What is the consumer's responsibility once a credit watch service is initiated? Is it a "turn it on and it works" proposition, or must the service be actively managed by the consumer to have any real effect?

The burden is on the consumer. They must check the credit report after they have been notified of a change and then they are responsible for cleaning up any mess of identity theft. The FTC says it is an average of 177 hours over two years, if you can clean it up at all.

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55. Are there hidden costs, dangers, etc. to working with the credit agencies? What should consumers know that might be otherwise difficult to find out on their own?

Consumers should know that the credit reports you buy will not include any "non-match" name and social security numbers. That means that if someone steals your social security number for employment, but uses their name, you will not see the accounts on your credit report. However, your credit score could be affected and lenders would be able to see the data.

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