Have you ever received a phone call from your credit card issuer about questionable activity on your card? I have. It turns out someone had made several small purchases using my credit card. I was told these small purchases were like little tests to determine the validity of the card. I was grateful to have received that call. The card issuer cancelled the card and issued me a new card right away.
There was still work to do on my part. I had to call all the stores about cancelling the charges, explaining numerous times that I had not made those purchases. Some stores were cooperative and understanding, but others were a little more difficult. I filed a police report. Even though there was nothing the police could do, I wanted to make sure I was protected in any way I could. As a constant worrier, I spent about a week stressed out about the whole thing before I added identity theft remediation services to my homeowners insurance.
I’ve always tried to monitor my credit and take precautions with my identity. Annually, I review my credit report from the three reporting agencies, I shred everything with my name and address on it, and I removed myself from pre-approved credit card offers. Despite my efforts, the theft still occurred.
Last week, I enrolled in the LifeLock Identity Protection program. In less than a week, I’ve received alerts notifying me when activity occurs with my personal information, as well as when criminal activity takes place in my Zip code. I can log into my account to view my credit score and credit reports anytime and as often as I like. Having the remediation services is helpful after something happens. But I have greater piece of mind knowing my identity is being monitored 24/7 so that action can be taken before the damage is done.
Identity theft is a very real problem. According to a 2013 study by Javelin Strategy & Research, there were 12.6 million identity theft victims in 2012. That’s 1 in 20 consumers.
It’s a whole new reality out there. The good news is that we can protect ourselves with services like LifeLock. Better yet… ISG Advisors can bring this service to employers as a voluntary employee benefit. Meaning employees can have access to this inexpensive but valuable benefit with the convenience of payroll deduction.
Think about all you do online or with your smartphone or tablet. Are you and your family protected? Are your employees protected? Let ISG Advisors help.