Is Life Lock the cure for the identity theft protection epidemic? Is Life Lock the answer to providing you with peace of mind when it comes to preventing identity theft?
We are going to look at the benefits, features, pros and cons of Life Lock. We are going to review Life Lock and see if it is the solution to identity theft prevention or if you can do the same thing on your own as Life Lock does.
What can Life Lock do for you that you can’t do for yourself? Well, pretty much nothing.
The real question is, do you want to hassle with going through all the steps and processes yourself. Some people thrive on research, seeking out every detail and are just plain DIYers. Others just have so much going on in their lives that they don’t want the additional burden, they just want the security of knowing things are taken care of for them and they are protected, and that is where companies such as Life Lock come into play.
So let’s look at what Life Lock does and how you can do the same thing yourself.
Life Lock – Fraud Alert
First is the fraud alert. Life Lock will place a fraud alert on your credit profile at all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion. A fraud alert will put your credit profile in lock down mode. No one will be able to open new accounts in your name without your being notified. Any potential credit grantors will be notified that they must verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your identity without your knowledge.
DIY – Fraud Alert
Can you put a fraud alert on your credit profile yourself? Sure you can, you must notify all three credit bureaus every three months to put a fraud alert on your credit profile. Fraud alerts come in three flavors:
1. You can put a three month fraud alert if you suspect identity theft
2. A one year fraud alert can be obtained if you are an active military consumer
3. A seven year fraud alert will require you to show proof that your identity has been stolen by submitting a copy of a valid identity theft report to the credit bureaus that you have filed with a Federal, State or local law enforcement agency.
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 9532,
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Life Lock – Opt Out
The next thing Life Lock will do is request that your name be removed from junk mail lists and pre-approved credit offers. This is one of the main methods identity thieves will use to get a hold of your identity.
DIY – Opt Out
Can you request your name be removed from junk lists and pre-approved credit offers? Once again, yes you can, but you may have to make the request multiple times before you are completely removed. As I am sure you know, advertising is a very lucrative business and companies don’t give up easily on potential prospects.
Listed below is information on the organizations you can contact to have your name removed from various mailing lists.
Keep in mind that the credit bureaus may have different requirements for opting out. You can write a letter to request your personal information not be shared or used for promotional purposes.
The national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables consumers to opt-out of all pre-approved credit offers with just one phone call. You can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or you can go to the OptOutScreen website.
Department of Motor Vehicles
State departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) keep a lot of personal information about you. (Take a look at your driver’s license, for example.) The Drivers Protection Act offers you privacy rights concerning your information maintained by DMVs. The law sets limits on how your information can be used. A DMV agency can give out your personal information for things such as law enforcement, driver safety, insurance underwriting, etc.
Recently, an amendment was made to the law which now prohibits DMV from giving out your personal information for other types of uses, including for direct marketing, unless you give them permission.
You should contact the DMV in your Divine Locks state for more specific information.
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service allows you to opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from various national companies for five years. When you sign up for this service (a $1 fee), your name will be put in a ‘delete’ file and made available to direct-mail marketers. This will only help you for mailings from organizations who use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. Your registration won’t stop mailings from organizations that don’t use this service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to the DMAChoice org website.
The FTC also publishes a free brochure on Shopping by Phone or Mail. For a complete list of publications, write for Best Sellers, Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580; or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), TDD (202) 326-2502.
Life Lock – Free Credit Reports
Life Lock will also order your credit report from all three credit bureaus which are sent directly to you.
DIY – Free Credit Reports
You can also do this yourself. Each credit bureau allows you to obtain one free credit report each year. That will give you your credit report every four months, each time from a different credit bureau. Keep in mind that each credit bureau does not always keep the same account information on file.
Getting your credit report every four months is all well and good to get an overview of your credit sco