Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?

Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?
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Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?

Is Identity Theft Protection Worth It?
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If you’ve ever been the victim of identity theft, then you’ll know how difficult it is to sort out and clear your name of any wrongdoing. In some cases, people have lost thousands of dollars because they were targeted by fraudsters who stole their identity and used it to create mountains of debt in their name.

This article will cover identity theft protection, explain what it is, why it’s important, and help you decide whether you need it.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the act of stealing or falsely acquiring someone else’s personal information or banking details. With the increased use of internet shopping and the digital economy, there has been an increase in the number of digital identity theft cases in the U.S. and globally. Identity theft is not limited to local criminals and there are large criminal networks around the world that attempt to steal and use other people’s identities for different purposes. In fact, it’s estimated that around 4.9 million Americans are victims of identity theft or fraud each year and that between 2020 and 2021, the number of cases rose by 64%.

This is understandable as more and more people start using the internet on a daily basis. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to steal identities and money from everyday people, and the worrying thing is that they only have to be right once.

Cybercriminals attempting to Steal identities from people online

Source: Pexels

What Can Thieves Do Once They Have Stolen Your Identity?

Identity theft is a serious problem that can have a lasting impact on your life. Once your identity is stolen through a data breach, personal hack, or theft, there are a number of ways cybercriminals can exploit and defraud you. 

In some cases, they may sell your information to other organizations that want to exploit or defraud you. In other instances, they may start to create debt in your name or try to defraud the government using your identity.

They may apply for credit cards or loans in your name, open a new bank account, or even file for bankruptcy. 

They can also use your identity to get access to your medical records or to claim government benefits. In some cases, identity thieves have been known to impersonate their victims in order to obtain employment. 

If you become a victim of identity theft, it is important to act quickly in order to minimize the damage. 

  • You should contact the credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your credit report. 

  • You should also close any accounts that have been compromised and file a police report. Taking these steps can help to protect your identity and prevent further damage.

A person handing a credit card to the cashier to pay for items.

Source: Pexels

What Is Identity Theft Protection?

Identity theft protection can be either a service or product that stops people from successfully stealing your identity online or in real life. For a long time, there weren’t many options for people looking to secure their online identity against fraud and misuse, but this has changed in recent years. There are many different identity theft protection services available, so it is important to choose one that best meets your needs.

Key Point: The Different Types of Identity Theft

Synthetic identity theft: Synthetic identity theft occurs when a thief combines real and fake information to create a new identity. This can include using a real name and Social Security number but adding a fake birth date or address.

Synthetic identity theft can be difficult to detect, as the information may not trigger any red flags. However, it can have serious consequences, as thieves can use these fraudulent identities to open new accounts, obtain loans, and even commit crimes.

Medical identity theft: Medical identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it to get medical care, buy prescription drugs, or commit insurance fraud.

This type of identity theft is on the rise, in part because hospitals are increasingly relying on electronic health records.

If your medical identity is stolen, you could end up with false information in your records, incorrect diagnoses, and even denied insurance claims.

Child identity theft: Child identity theft occurs when someone uses a child's personal information - such as their Social Security number or date of birth - to commit fraud.

This can result in the child being denied credit, being unable to get a job, or even being arrested for crimes they did not commit.

Tax identity theft: Tax identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to file a tax return in your name with the intention of claiming a refund.

This type of identity theft can be especially difficult to detect because it may not be discovered until you try to file your own tax return and find out that someone has already filed using your information.

Mail identity theft: Mail identity theft is a type of identity theft that occurs when someone steals your personal information from your mail.

This can include going through your trash to find bills or other documents with your name and address, stealing your mail directly from your mailbox, or even forging your signature on fraudulent documents.

Mail identity theft can lead to a number of problems, including financial fraud and damage to your credit score.

If you’re worried about your identity being stolen, reach out to one of our agents today to discuss your options and find the best digital identity protection plan for you and your family.

Person Clicking on security tab of website

Source: Pexels

What Are the Benefits of Identity Theft Protection Services?

In today’s technological age, it's important to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft, including getting identity protection software to safeguard your personal information.

This can give you peace of mind knowing that you're taking proactive steps to protect yourself from identity theft.

In addition, many identity theft protection services offer additional features, such as identity theft insurance coverage in case you become a victim of identity theft. 

You may also be able to cover other members of your family under one plan and ensure they are protected from identity theft as well.

A good identity protection plan will keep an eye on different aspects of your life and notify you about various types of potential identity theft threats you may fall victim to, or are susceptible to.

When considering an identity theft protection service, be sure to compare different options to find the right fit for your needs.

Key Point: Free vs. Paid Identity Theft Protection

Paid identity protection: One option is to sign up for a paid identity theft protection service. These services provide credit monitoring and alerts that can help to detect fraud early.

They also offer features like dark web monitoring and identity restoration assistance. However, these services come at a cost, which may be problematic for some people.

Free identity theft protection: Another option is to take measures to protect your personal information on your own.

This includes using strong passwords, being careful about what you share online, and monitoring your credit report for suspicious activity.

While this approach requires more effort than signing up for a paid service, it can be just as effective at preventing identity theft.

Man looking at phone checking identity theft protection app

Source: Pexels

Should I Get Identity Theft Protection?

If you’re a regular user of online marketplaces or generally use the internet a lot, then you should consider getting identity protection to safeguard your information when browsing online.

You may be wondering whether you should get identity theft protection. After all, identity theft is a serious problem, and the potential consequences can be severe. 

However, there are a few things to consider before making a decision.

Firstly, think about how likely you are to become a victim of identity theft. If you're not particularly vulnerable and keep to yourself, then the risk may be relatively low.

For example, if you don't use public Wi-Fi or carry around a lot of personal information, then the chances of someone being able to hack your personal details are less. 

Secondly, look at the types of services that a potential identity theft program might offer you.  

Some services simply monitor your credit report for suspicious activity, while others go a step further and provide identity theft insurance in case your identity is stolen. 

If you don’t have a credit card or don’t shop online, then you may not need as much coverage as someone who has a higher risk of getting their identity stolen.

Finally, look at the cost of the service and figure out if it will be a worthwhile investment to make. Some identity theft protection software is pricey, so you'll need to weigh the costs and benefits before making a decision.

Key Point: Am I at Risk of Getting My Identity Stolen?

These things that people frequently do, give them a higher chance of getting their identity stolen:

  • Pay for items online.
  • Use the postal service.
  • Make use of public Wi-Fi.
  • Share personal details on forums or social media platforms.
  • Share images and locations on social media platforms.

To learn more about the different identity protection options available to you, speak to one of our consultants today at 1-888-912-2132 or send an email to help@policyscout.com.

A Mailbox where scammers can steal your mail and attempt to defraud you through stealing your identity.

Source: Pexels

Tips to Prevent Yourself from Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft can happen to anyone. It occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

  • To protect yourself, be vigilant about safeguarding your personal information, especially when you're in the hospital, at the bank, or shopping.

  • Don't leave your belongings unattended, and don't give out your Social Security number or date of birth unless you're absolutely sure it's necessary. 

  • Keep an eye on your credit report and credit card statements for signs of fraud. If you notice any unauthorized charges or activity, report it immediately to your bank or credit card company.

  • Only do business with companies that you know and trust. Be careful when clicking on links in emails, and only enter your personal information on secure websites that begin with "https://".

  • If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the police and find out what you need to do.

What Factors Should I Consider When Looking for Identity Theft Protection Services?

When it comes to identity protection, there are a number of factors to consider. The best identity protection software and identity monitoring services will depend on a number of factors, including the type of identity theft or fraud you're most at risk for and the level of protection you need. 

For example, if you're worried about someone stealing your credit card information, software that monitors your credit report for suspicious activity may be a good option. 

On the other hand, if you're concerned about identity theft in general, software that provides comprehensive identity protection may be a better choice.

First and foremost, you'll want to choose software that offers protection against identity theft and fraud. 

Typically, the software includes features like Social Security number monitoring, credit report monitoring, and alerts if your personal information is being used improperly. 

Additionally, you'll want to consider identity protection software that offers additional features like medical identity protection and tax identity protection. 

This can help to safeguard your financial and personal information from identity thieves. Finally, be sure to choose software that is approved by the government for use in identity protection programs. This will help ensure that your information is safe and secure.

Finally, consider the price of the software and see if it offers you value for money. Some programs might cost more than others, but the price is usually indicative of the features that the software offers.

FAQs about Identity Theft Protection

Is it worth it to get identity theft protection?

Yes, getting identity protection is worth it if you don’t have the time to monitor your bank accounts, credit reports, and other personal information. Identity theft protection companies can also help you detect identity fraud and theft attempts before thieves can cause major damage to your credit score and reputation.

Do banks offer identity theft protection?

Most banks and credit bureaus will have security measures in place to prevent identity theft from happening. Some banks use fingerprint recognition to secure their clients’ bank accounts, while others use online security measures like two-factor authentication when you transact.

Can money be taken from an account without permission?

No, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In most cases, the bank will refund any money transferred through an unauthorized payment.

Where Can I Learn More about Digital Identity Protection?

Identity theft is a serious crime that can have a lasting impact on your finances, credit history, and reputation. It can also be emotionally devastating and if you become a victim of identity theft, you may feel angry, helpless, and violated.

While it’s important to be aware of the threat of identity theft and take steps to protect yourself, it’s also important to remember that if you do become a victim, you are not alone.

If you’re interested in improving your digital identity protection, speak to one of our agents to find the best products on the market and get help with choosing a provider. Call us today at 1-888-912-2132 or send us an email at help@policyscout.com to get started.

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