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