LifeLock: Can The Program Really Protect My Identity?
I have heard LifeLock commercial on radio many times before in which its CEO read out loud his own social security number and challenged anyone to steal his identity. Equally ear-catching in the commercial was their $1 million guarantee. That ‘s a lot of money for any victim of identity theft. However, since I don’t use any credit or identity protection program myself, I never really paid any attention to what exactly is offered by LifeLock and whether the guarantee is worth the money or not (the cost of the service is $10 a month). So I decided to check it out, not that I need a protection service now.
The main product is LifeLock Identity Alert, a system that provides you a wide range of identity coverage and early notification of potential identity threats by email, postal mail, and/or phone when such threats are detected. Usually, the alert will be sent out when your personal information is being used to apply for, for example, credit cards, wireless services, retail credit, utilities, check orders/reorders, mortgage loans, auto loans, and non-credit related payday loans. In addition, LifeLock also offers
- eRecon – The service scours known criminal websites for the illegal selling or trading of your personal information, including your Social Security number, credit card number,and driver’s license. It will alert you when such illegal activities are found.
- TrueAddress – TrueAddress detect any new address information in address databases nationwide. If it finds the address is changed without authorization, LifeLock will work with you to avoid further damage and restore accurate address information.
- WalletLock – If you lost your wallet, you can use WalletLock service to have everything in your wallet, such as credit/debit cards, driver’s license, social security card, insurance cards, checkbook, canceled and replaced.
LifeLock $1 Million Guarantee
So exactly what is LifeLock’s $1 million guarantee? It isn’t that LifeLock will pay you, the victim of identity theft, $1 million for the damage. Instead, the guarantee program “will spend up to $1 million to hire lawyers, investigators, consultants and whatever else it takes to restore your name and help you recover the direct losses from the identity theft.” So basically, LifeLock will spend the money, up to $1 million, to heir a third party Recovery Specialist to restore your identity. Plus, the specialist will
- Educate you on the recovery process.
- Obtain additional information that is necessary to proceed with the recovery process.
- Give you the pre-fill forms, and step-by-step instructions necessary for your state jurisdiction and type of identity theft.
- Send over a Power of Attorney form that will allow them to act on your behalf.
Essentially, you will hand over the case to the LifeLock and the specialist it assigned until the issue is resolved, which, as LifLock claims, usually takes 30 days. However, if you decide to take the matter in your own hands, you will not be compensated for your time and effort under this program, as it explicitly states that the program doesn’t cover
Lost wages or business profits, loss of business or lost opportunities and direct out-of-pocket expenses like postage stamps, gas or mileage to go to local authorities, or any notary public fees, etc. The guarantee does cover the cost for lawyers, investigators, case managers but not any direct losses as a result of the theft. Under the Terms and Conditions, NO money passes directly to our LifeLock members.
Is LifeLock Worth the Money?
Though I have considered of getting a credit monitoring service myself, I don’t use any and generally think that the best protection is to safeguard my personal information carefully, instead of using a service to help me avoid any form of identity theft. For years, I have been getting free credit reports every four months to check if there is any information that rises read flag. Sure, it’s not a real-time service like LifeLock or any other credit monitoring program offers, but it has worked quite well for me.
However, if you are not confident about handling the task yourself or are too busy to do it, then an identity protection program like LifeLock may help.
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