Do identity protection services really work?

How effective are their scanning/monitoring methods? Can they truly protect consumers? The answers may vary. Identity theft protection is designed to protect you from new lines of credit being opened in your name—and along with the recovery/restoration component, it’s designed to clean up the mess.
It’s safe to say I’m an expert on identity theft protection. But honestly, sometimes I get confused by what different companies offer for identity theft protection. Sometimes their marketing copy is confusing and often misleading. There has always been a lack of transparency when it comes to identity theft protection.
Identity protection should be transparent. If you are spending 10 or more bucks a month, you want to know what you are getting.
Monitoring of credit bureaus: Monitoring may consist of one to three credit bureaus. So when a credit check is made, you are notified.
Monitoring of Social Security numbers (SSN) via credit applications: Some services have technology that is in place with major creditors and phone companies, and this technology looks for your SSN and alerts you when it’s in use by anyone, including you.
Monitoring of the internet: There are chatrooms and forums filled with criminals who broker our stolen data. There are websites that store our information. If your sensitive data shows up, you are notified.
Medical identity theft protection: Some companies say they will help protect you from medical identity theft. I’m not sure how, but maybe they have relationships with the Medical Information Bureau.
Recovery: When you read the fine print, it usually says the company will only help you recover from identity theft when the service’s product fails to provide the protection you bought. However, most protection services will at least walk you by the hand or point you in a direction to solve your issues. They don’t usually leave you stranded.
Lost wallet protection: With this, you can register your credit cards with the service so in the event your wallet goes missing, one call to the service will shut them all down and reorder new cards.
Credit card protection: Identity theft protection can’t protect your credit cards. Your bank might offer a service that involves a form of “zero liability” in the event your card is compromised.
Bank account protection: Identity theft protection can’t protect your bank account, but their recovery services may help you in the event you are hacked.
Service guarantee: Many offer a million-dollar service guarantee or something comparable. The point of this guarantee is to let you know the service will spend up to that dollar amount to fix your problem. In reality, it shouldn’t take more than a few dozen phone calls by a professional and maybe the services of a lawyer to make identity theft go away.
These services know what they are doing. It’s their life. And we at BestIDTheftCompanys.com know what we are doing, so check out how we disseminate what’s what—and decide for yourself.
__________

Identity Theft is the Fastest Growing Consumer Crime in the United States.

Identity theft is the fastest growing consumer crime in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 9.3 million individuals are victimized by the crime every year, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to ID theft protection services to safeguard their identities. But consumers aren’t the only ones at risk. Any size business, whether a giant corporation or a small business, must be vigilant to protect themselves from identity theft.
There are two types of services in the market today that attempt to alleviate some of identity fraud’s expenses to deal with the aftermath of identity theft, but it does nothing to prevent it. Even the National Association of Insurance Commissioners states that identity theft insurance “cannot protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft and does not cover direct monetary losses incurred as a result of identity theft.”
ID Theft protection services, on the other hand, offer consumers, corporations, and small businesses proactive protection and recovery service. There are many competing companies out there, and not all of them offer the same level of service.
When evaluating ID theft protection services, look for these features:
A 24/7 hotline to call if you suspect you have been a victim of ID theft.
Expedient delivery of an ID Theft Resolution Kit that includes forms to be submitted to the IRS, DMV, Social Security Administration, and the three credit reporting agencies. An identity theft affidavit and forms specific to the type of ID theft should also be included.
Assistance in reporting the identity theft to your local authorities and creditors, requesting that creditors cancel existing cards and issue new ones, and placing a security freeze on your credit records. Be sure the company will obtain 7 year credit freezes for you.
 Updates whenever there is activity on the case, including follow-up with creditors to ensure that they properly repair your accounts.
Recovery specialists, preferably with law enforcement experience, who have the expertise and connections to launch a full investigation into the identity theft, reverse the damage, and bring the identity thieves to justice if there is an opportunity to do so.
Return your identity to pre-theft status, reducing the likelihood of a member’s identity being compromised.
While an ID theft protection service is an effective way to safeguard against identity theft, consumers and companies should also use common sense to shield their identities as well, such as:
Keep copies of credit card information in a safe place
Obtain their credit reports from the three major credit bureaus once a year from each
Implement credit freezes
__________________
Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to prevent identity theft and healthcare fraud. Visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com.

Family Check-Ups

As a no cost service to the community, ID Theft Resolutions offers a family check-up to insure that you are taking the correct steps to reduce the possibility of your family becoming a victim of identity theft and/or fraud. These are steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission and the New Mexico State Attorney Generals Office.

At no cost to you, we will sit with you and go over the following areas:
• Preventing Identity Theft. The steps you can take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.
• If you’re a victim of identity theft. The immediate steps you should take.
• Avoiding scams
• Chatting with kids about being on line, texting and proper cell phone etiquette.
• Protecting your personal information.
• The signs of identity theft, how to recognize when it has happened to you.

We will never tell anybody that if you follow these steps it will never happen to you. However, by taking these steps, it will greatly reduce the possibility of identity theft occurring and will give you the piece of mind that you are taking a pro-active approach in protecting you and your family.

ID Theft Resolutions! Who Are We?

“Preventing Life Disruptions and Helping ID Theft Victims Take Back Their Lives”
Some very good news – help for victims of ID theft is just a phone call away. ID theft victims no longer have to suffer in isolation and feel that they have nowhere to turn to for support.

ID Theft Resolutions, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated exclusively to (1) educating the public, public officials and legislators about the challenges presented by the identity theft phenomenon and how to prevent and respond to ID theft and (2) helping ID theft victims recover their identity and protect their credit.
Mark Medley founded ID Theft Resolutions in late 2011. Mark was a victim of ID theft himself in 2001 and has vowed that “no one should have to go through what I did just because somebody stole their identity”. He has spent the last several frustrating years in recovering his good name.
We offer a variety of services including:
? Free assistance to help victims of ID theft take back their lives
? Free family ID theft prevention checkup
? Free consumer workshops
? Free mini-workshops for small businesses and their employees
? Consulting services to law enforcement, prosecutors, other public officials
and businesses
We have already been influential in providing our expertise to NM law enforcement, administrative agencies and legislators as they consider/adopt policies and legislation to ease the burden of having your ID stolen in New Mexico.

If you know of someone struggling with ID theft, please refer them to us – we can help. Our “take back your life” services are free and confidential.
We are available for speaking engagements.
We are looking for Board members and volunteers to help us grow the organization.
Donations are always welcome. Your contribution will be appreciated – just send a check to our address at the bottom of this page.
How to contact us – Call Mark at in state (505) 417-1902 out of state Toll Free at 1-888-484-9118 or email him at markmedley@idtheftresolutions.org

Corporate Purpose

ID Theft Resolutions, Ltd. was formed exclusively for charitable purposes in accordance with section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is committed to (1) educating the general public, public officials, and legislators about the challenges presented by the identity theft phenomenon; (2) providing effective steps for how to prevent and respond to ID theft; and (3) helping ID theft victims recover their identity and protect their credit.

Program for Identity Theft Victims Delayed

News News .Program for Identity Theft Victims Delayed
By Astrid Galvan / Journal Staff Writer on Tue, Jul 5, 2011
Mark Medley shows some of the extensive paperwork that resulted from someone stealing his identity in 2001. (DEAN HANSON/JOURNAL)
A decade after a man stole his identity, went on a crime spree and then to jail, Mark Medley is still haunted by crimes he never committed.

If a police officer scans his driver’s license, Medley will come up as an alias for a career criminal, and a job-related background check will always turn up dirty. That’s because the real offender, Mark William Elliott, used Medley’s identity when being arrested for various crimes.

Experts say such incidents are rising in the seemingly unstoppable world of identity theft.

But in 2009, the state Legislature passed a bill that created a unique “passport” program for people whose identities were stolen and used in criminal activity.

In a place where identity theft is so prevalent – New Mexico ranks seventh in the country, according to the Attorney General’s Office – the program was to be another recovery tool for victims.

But the program, which is supposed to provide victims with new driver’s licenses that have special coding, has yet to be implemented in many cities, notably in Albuquerque.

The program’s database is up and running, but several law enforcement agencies have not yet registered. And the Motor Vehicle Division has not started to produce the driver’s licenses, which will have codes like the ones for drivers with prescription glasses.

If a victim of identity theft gets pulled over by police, and their name comes up with warrants that don’t actually correspond to them, they could be arrested in a case of mistaken identity.

The driver’s license holdup, MVD director Keith Perry said, is due to staff changes, among other reasons. Perry said the program should have hit the ground running in the latter part of 2009,and that he expects it to get going this month. MVD first has to sign a contract with the company that prints driver’s licenses for them to develop the licenses.

The database for the program was created and will be administered by the AG’s Office, and each individual law enforcement agency will have to sign up to participate. An AG’s spokeswoman said there are 14 law enforcement agencies already registered for the program.

Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Paul Feist said the department is working to get onboard, and should be fully integrated into the program by October.

“(Identity theft) occurs daily. It is very prevalent. It is something that everybody needs to be aware of,” Feist said. Even if identity-theft victims get their criminal records expunged by the courts, they will always be associated with their perpetrators because they’ll be listed as the perpetrator’s alias.

“The biggest thing is we don’t want somebody to sit in jail who is innocent,” Feist said.

For Medley, the program will be a great relief after years of struggling to clear his name.

“I have a three-ring binder full of information that I’ve accumulated over the years,” he said.

Medley’s driver’s license was stolen in August 2001 at a summer festival in Albuquerque, he said.

Within weeks, he started getting letters from criminal attorneys who were “representing” him, though Medley had never hired a lawyer or committed any crimes.

Elliott, who would go on to be convicted of identity theft, among various other charges, had given police Medley’s name when he was arrested, according to court records.

Elliott has an extensive criminal record and is currently serving time at a state prison in Las Cruces. His expected release date is in January 2012, a Department of Corrections spokesman said.

Medley still can’t clear his own name.

“With a background check at DPS, a 10-page report with different aliases and a laundry list of felonies and criminal charges come up on my record,” Medley said. “I’ve been told as long as it stays like that, there’s a possibility I could get arrested.”

And then there are the background checks that most employers conduct nowadays.

“My solid evidence says that every time I apply for a job, I’m rejected because of what’s going on with this situation,” he said.

Medley, whose current job is caring for his ailing mother, has started a business for identity theft victims, which he hopes to turn into a nonprofit.

For now, he’s filled out a police report and affidavit that has been put into the AG’s database.

He’s one of 227 identity-theft victims in the state already registered in the database and awaiting a new license, an AG’s Office spokeswoman said.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal

ads Guilty To 44 Felonies in 3 Identity Theft Cases 09/22/2010
?State Program Helps Prevent Abusers From Tracking Victims 10/28/2009

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The “Q” Lover 10 hours ago

This is such a terrible thing that has happened to this gentleman and the government is failing him. If there is attorney out there, who has a heart and happens to read this comment, help this man and get ABQ’s MVD off its rear and become compliant with state law regarding the driver’s license number issue. Help him get his “criminal record” wiped clean. Can he petition the court to change his name, social security number and driver’s license number, given the depth of his victim-hood? For God’s sake, it is preventing him from gaining employment. SOMEONE HELP THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!
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FBI Trains Local Banks to Spot Fraud

Local bankers are getting some training on how to spot fraud and how to make sure you don’t become a victim. The FBI says it’s a big problem in New Mexico and the scammers just keep getting smarter. Just recently, a group was caught trying to launder money through local banks. Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico President, Jerry Walker said, “When the bad guys found out that the local FBI office was on to them, they fled and went back to Russia.” Schemes like this are why it’s so important to keep up on the latest trends. Walker said, “We find that Albuquerque and New Mexico is actually a hub for international criminals to try to attack our banks, our financial institutions our businesses.” Mark Medley knows all too well the nightmare of being a victim of fraud and identity theft. Medley said, “The person who stole my identity used it, and was booked into jail, so I became part of his criminal record.” Medley has decided to use what happened to him to help others. “Half of getting your identity cleared up is trying to figure out who to talk to, where to go and how to do it,” Medley said. Rodney Miller with the FBI says education is key, making sure people have the knowledge to protect themselves. Miller said, “Having the most up-to-date security software installed on there computer system, and most importantly know who they are talking to online.” According to the Federal Trade Commission, New Mexico is ranked 7th in the country for identity theft and fraud. Just last year, nearly 2,000 cases were reported.

By: Crystal Kobza, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ID Theft Consultant

Tips for choosing an ID theft consultant:

  1. Check to make sure the person has credible references.
  2. Ask about what resources they use in helping solve problems regarding identity theft and if they are relevant to your situation.
  3. Ask if the person follows the guidelines outlined by the attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.
  4. Ask if they have had first-hand experience with identity theft and what the outcome was.
  5. Make sure that there is a clear understanding of what the fees are, what they include, and make sure you get it in writing.
  6. Ask about their success ratio and if you can see written testimony from past clients.

If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Step One: File a report with your local police department. If the identity theft did not take place within your area, file a report with the police from the area where the theft took place. Make sure you get a copy of the police report.

Step Two: Close  accounts. If you notice any accounts under your name that have been tampered with or opened without your consent, close them immediately. The longer an identity thief has access to these accounts, the more money you could lose. Call each bank or company and then follow up in writing.

Step Three: Call the three credit reporting bureaus and place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file.

Step Four: Review your credit report for:

  1. Accounts you did not open;
  2. Debits on your account you did not know about;
  3. Inquiries from companies you don’t know;
  4. Inaccurate information.

Step Five: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.