I was researching a topic that was possibly related to fraud the other day. It was closer to the grey line of consumer fraud, but I refuse to draw any conclusions based solely on my opinion. Life has a way of teaching you that even if something grates on your nerves, there are always two sides to every story or even two, three, four sides, depending on who you are speaking to at that time.
What I ran into was some news about ID Theft Protection Services. I do not think that you will find anyone who will tell you that ID Theft is not a serious crime or that the documented cases have sky-rocketed in the past three years. When you look at this from a Risk Management point of view, you want to look at some options that will help mitigate this threat. One option that is available is ID Theft Protection Services.
When choosing an ID Theft Protection Service or Insurance, you have to read the fine print to see if it will be a benefit you. You have to watch out for consumer fraud and conduct research on the company. Personally, I would never accept an offer by way of phone marketing because there is an increased chance that you are being scammed. The person on the other end of the phone might not be who you think they are and if they really want your business they can provide a phone number that can be validated (searched for on the Internet). That way, you can call them back when you are ready to conduct business with them.
Lifelock claimed that it covered all types of ID Theft and basically it didn’t.
-This is a link to the FTC Case Information with a phone number to contact them for more information.
Here are some more newsworthy angles to the LifeLock controversy and the ID Theft Protection industry.
-Lifelock CEO Todd Davis Does Damage Control
By Dave Nielsen, March 16, 2010
If you hadn't heard, identity theft company LifeLock agreed to pay $12 million dollars to settle charges from the Federal Trade Commission and 35 states. The FTC felt that LifeLock ads were deceptive and overstated the protection provided by the service.
Personally, I think the charges are valid and I had to chuckle a bit when I read this email from CEO Todd Davis sent out to his partners. Mr. Davis certainly has his public relations firm working overtime to write something like this.
-Identity Theft Protection Industry: Divided we Stand, for Better or for Worse
By Denise Richardson, March 17, 2010, updated March 22, 2010
When have you ever seen one bank tear apart another? Never. Why? Because they unify as part of the same industry and work together, for good or ill. Think about it: the same could be said about any industry--the insurance, credit and debt collection industries to name a few. They band together in a sort of code of honor where one never knocks the other. They go about their business promoting their own products and services. It boggles my mind why the identity theft industry does things differently. Why is it so divided?
Last week's press conference by the FTC and 35 Attorneys General launched a media frenzy that left some of us shaking our heads and others scurrying about to see how best they can twist the news of this recent settlement with LifeLock into their own personal pot of gold.
I have only found one ID Theft Protection Service that offers a Recovery service that covers all types of ID Theft (financial, criminal, social security, medical, etc) and Family Fraud. They are honest in claiming, “While we provide a comprehensive approach to help prevent the occurrence of Identity Theft for our members, no identity protection service can prevent identity theft from happening.” They do not even collect your SSN unless you need the Recovery service. Zander Insurance Group (FAQ) Also, check out the link to how they compare to other ID Theft Protection Services.