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Identity Theft 911 Recommends Identity Theft Services Shopping Tips From The Consumer Federation

October 23, 2010 Business, Featured News, Finance No Comments

National Protect Your Identity Week

In recognition of National Protect Your Identity Week, Identity Theft 911 supports the Consumer Federation of America effort to enable consumers to recognize identity theft service providers that follow good practices. New tips identify nine things to check when shopping for identity theft services. Active identity management can be a foundational first step for consumers seeking to secure a safe future.

In recognition of National Protect Your Identity Week,Identity Theft 911 (http://www.identitytheft911.com) announces its support for the checklist “Nine Things to Check When Shopping for Identity Theft Services” released by the Consumer Federation of America this week. Identity Theft is the top complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission and surveys by Javelin Strategy and Research show that identity fraud is on the rise.

The CFA’s new tips are designed to help consumers look for identity theft services providers that follow good practices. Identity theft services may provide consumers with assisted protection, quicker detection and assisted resolution of identity theft problems, but not all service providers follow the same good practices. The CFA reported last year that the claims of some identity theft service providers are exaggerated or misleading.

“No service can absolutely prevent your personal information from being stolen,” said Susan Grant, CFA’s Director of Consumer Protection. “It’s important for consumers to know what to steer clear of when purchasing identity theft services.”

“We’re proud to work with the CFA both in educating consumers to be smart shoppers of identity theft services and providing resources that enable consumers to learn how to reduce the potential for becoming identity theft victims,” said Matt Cullina, CEO of Identity Theft 911. “We take our responsibility to educate, advise and advocate seriously. It’s tough out there and consumers need to be savvy and informed.”

The checklist of tips was developed by the CFA in consultation with their ID Theft Service Best Practice Group, which includes companies that provide identity theft services, consumer organizations and consumer agencies. The group is working on recommendations for best practices for identity theft service provides and plans to release these best practices later this year.

Key take aways from “Nine Things to Check When Shopping for Identity Theft Services” include:

1)    Do the claims on the identity theft service’s Web site or in its advertisements make you think that the service will completely protect you against identity theft? If the answer is yes, steer clear.

2)    Does the identity theft service use scare tactics to try to get you to enroll? If the answer is yes, steer clear!

3)    Does the identity theft service make basic information about the company easy to find on its Web site? If the answer is no, steer clear!

4)    If the service offers to monitor your personal information and alert you if someone may be fraudulently using it, is it clear what it monitors? If the answer is no, steer clear!

5)    Does the identity theft service make clear how monitoring or other features of its program actually help you? If the answer is no, steer clear!

6)    If the service offers to help identity theft victims, is it clear exactly what help it provides and who is eligible for it? If the answer is no, steer clear!

7)    Is the cost of the service provided before you are asked for your payment information? If the answer is no, steer clear!

8)    Does the service have a clear, transparent privacy policy? If the answer is no, steer clear!

9)    If the identity theft service offers insurance or a guarantee, is it clear what is covered and who is eligible? If the answer is no, steer clear!

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