Someone close to me became the victim of identity theft a few years ago. It was awful. Her bank account was depleted, unauthorized withdrawals were being made from her checking account, and she was an easy target for scammers.
I don't know if Lifelock is the answer, but I do know it's so important to protect yourself out in the wide world of the Internet, and Lifelock markets itself as one of those solutions that protects your identity.
Lifelock has a number of protective services for individuals, including:
- Alerts of potential threats, credit- and non-credit-related
- Online access to a personalized dashboard
- Identity-monitoring to alert you when your personal information is exposed
- 24/7 local phone support, 365 days a year
- Stolen or lost wallet remediation (for cancelling and replacing lost or stolen credit/debit cards)
- Comprehensive identity recovery services, should you become a victim of identity theft on Lifelock's watch
Had Lifelock been around when my loved one's information was compromised, she could have recovered a lot of money (and sleep).
Here are some pretty alarming statistics on identity fraud:
- Households earning $100k+ per year have the highest identity fraud rate at 7.4%
- The average cost per person of having identities stolen is $1,513
- 11.6 million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2011 and a total of $18 billion was lost
Think about the email you receive every day. How many times have you been offered things that are too good to be true? And have your social media accounts or email accounts ever been phished? Even mine have, and I am extremely guarded.
Even more frightening are these statistics for smartphone and social media users. One reason to beware of apps that want access to your personal information. Of reported cases of identity theft:
- 6.6% of victims are smartphone owners
- 6.8% of victims are social media users who click on applications
- 8.2% of victims are social media users who have "checked in" using their smartphone GPS
- 10.1% are LinkedIn users
Identity theft is a global problem – and when your money is gone, it can be impossible to recover. It's so important to be ahead of the scammers, to be alert, and to protect yourself.
What are your concerns about identity theft? Do you think Lifelock would be a good solution for you or someone you know?