A Complete Identity Theft Protection, Insurance, and Recovery Plan
Unless you've been living in a cave for the last decade, you probably know that Identity Theft is the fastest-growing white collar crime in the U.S., and that over 1 in 20 Americans have suffered from some form of identity theft, with over 8 million new cases a year skewing your chances of being a victim worse every year.
Your odds of being a victim of ID theft is double the odds of being in an automobile accident. It's the most serious crime of the new millennium.
The INVISUS iDefend service is unique, offering what is in my studied opinion the most comprehensive Identity Theft protection and recovery program available anywhere. What makes iDefend special is the quality of the proactive protection they offer and the completeness of the recovery service. Naturally, you get all the goodies that you'd expect from Identity Theft protection: a free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus, credit monitoring and alerts, and Identity Theft expense reimbursement coverage (including attoney fees, lost wages, and other expenses incurred in fighting the theft of personally identifiable information). But you can get those things from Lifelock, Loudsiren, PrePaid Legal Identity Shield, and other available plans offering what amounts to limited Identity Theft Protection.What sets iDefend apart is what they do for you proactively to PROTECT you before your identity is stolen and PREVENT the losses from ever occuring in the first place, and the lengths that they go for you AFTER your identity is compromised (if it ever is).For example, let's take the singular case of a lost purse or wallet leading to a classic case of identity theft, where your credit cards are used, your checks are forged, and a car is purchased using your name and credit. Those other companies will advise you as to how to proceed, send you a "kit" containing a lot of information about where you can go to get the forms you need and file the claims you'll need to file and perhaps even reimburse you for the attorneys fees and for wages you've lost in pursuing it all. But you're still the one responsible for spending the enormous amounts of time it takes to recover and wrestle with the system – which is the very nightmare you want to avoid in the first place. In fact, most of the so-called Identity Theft insurance has proven so inadequate that in at least one state (New York), it's illegal. With INVISUS and their business partner, NIDR, you get someone who just takes care of it all for you on your behalf through a limited power of attorney. In other words, by authorizing NIDR to act on your behalf to recover your identity, they can and will do everything necessary to recover your identity and minimize past, present and future losses, and find the perpetrator(s) and work with law enforcement and prosecutors to put the thief(s) out of business. The typical rate at which law enforcement catches and prosecutes identity thieves is one in seven hundred – on the cases NIDR pursues, the rate is one in twenty.The bottom line is that with iDefend, you can let an expert recover your identity and spend all the time and effort on your behalf. That's peace of mind right there.Unfortunately for consumers, identifying the best identity theft protection and coverage is a very challenging task – right up there with finding the best health providers and insurance coverage available. The market leader, LifeLock, is a classic example. Their heavy advertising is brilliant marketing, but it contains so much that is misleading that it deserves a serious second look. Consider:
- The founder, Robert J. Maynard, Jr. has quite a fascinating history. Let me just point you to a well-researched and well-documented article in the Phoenix New Times that documents that Maynard is, well, let's just say not exactly the kind of person you want to entrust your identity to.
- The service apparently doesn't protect your Social Security # quite as much as you might be led to believe, inasmuch as the CEO's social security number was, in at least one case, used to obtain a loan by someone whom the police called "mentally disabled." Worse, the company then interferred with the police investigation (follow this link to the Wired article) and coerced a confession from the criminal.
Yet none of this seems to matter to the apparently desparate thousands of Lifelock subscribers who have made Lifelock the market leader in providing Identity Theft Insurance. So clearly, given the gap between the threat of the problem and the quality of the leading protection against the problem, there is a crying need for a better solution. And iDefend is the best I've found – and the one recommended by well-known Identity Theft Victim Karen Lodrick. So here's what's you get with iDefend:
- An initial assessment, including a public records search, letting you know whether your identity has been compromised or is at risk of being compromised
- Protection for your entire identity, not just your credit
- Protection plans for an individual or for an entire family, including infants and children, who are often the targets of identity theft because they are not as likely to discover the problem for years to come
- Full identity monitoring for any form of identity theft – including criminal activity, credit fraud, social security fraud, and much more
- A truly comprehensive recovery service, in the event your identity is compromised, that includes insurance but goes far beyond, including trained professionals and paralegals and attorneys working together under a limited power of attorney to handle it all for you so you can relax knowing that everything possible is being done to protect you from further harm and loss, restore your identity to its rightful owner, and protect you against future recurrences.
Here are the details:
Up front, you get:
- A comprehensive search and analysis of thousands of public records and national databases, looking for potentially fraudulent uses of your social security number and name. One of the outcomes of the search is an
- Identity Risk Rating which ranks your susceptibility to identity theft and helps predict where it might occur, also indicating your chances of becoming a victim.
- You get free credit reports, from each of the 3 major credit bureaus, and personal help (by request) in interpreting and analyzing the reports.
- Instant coverage under the insurance and recovery plan.
- An highly secure INVISUS Customer Center online account so you can manage your subscription details and personal information, get access to a wide variety of tutorials, education materials, and support options.
On an ongoing basis, you get the following:
- Credit Watch – You get the benefits of credit monitoring without the hassles. They'll regularly monitor your credit for suspicious activity and make sure you get printed copies of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus annually, along with personal guidance in analyzing your reports. If you need help in interpreting the information or looking for signs of fraud, all you need to do is call.
- Proactive Identity Monitoring – Most identity theft cases (about 2/3rds) do not involve credit, so you get the regular screening of thousands of public records, national databases, and underground Internet markets for suspicious uses of your personally identifiable information.
- Full Identity Recovery – The primary purpose of having strong identity protection is to make sure that you're going to get the best help possible when your identity is actually compromised – and this is where iDefend shines. You just sign some simple documents to give the trained professionals at NIDR the legal power they need to help you recover your identity completely, and they'll take it from there, doing everything necessary to restore your identity and compromised information to its pre-theft status. That includes compromised personal information or fraud problems with any of the following:
- credit bureau information
- Medical benefits
- Driver's license or motor vehicle information
- Social security benefits
- Federal or state tax refunds or information
- 401K or IRA accounts
- and more
- Legal Services Plan – INVISUS and NIDR work through the Legal Club of America to ensure that you get the legal support necessary during the recovery process.
- Unlimited Access to Expert Assistance – As with all INVISUS services, the ability to call for help or answers to questions whenever you need it is a core subscriber benefit.
Now, even with iDefend on your side, you probably won't think you've died and gone to heaven if your identity is stolen, but at least you won't descend into identity theft hell.