What is LifeLock?

LifeLock is the service that offers protection against identity theft. The CEO of LifeLock is a person called Todd Davis.

What is LifeLock is in essence is provide you with a few services and guarantees. It automatically orders your three free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com every year. It automatically opts you’re from free credit card offers prevents mail thieves from stealing information from your mailbox. This also reduces the amount of mail that you receive in your mailbox.

LifeLock is a fraud alert on your credit report as long as you are enrolled in the program. It renews this fraud alert every 90 days when it expires. LifeLock can no longer send a fraud alert to Experian owing to a lawsuit that experience filed against LifeLock. Experian claimed in their lawsuit that this repeated filing of a fraud alert for every single customer of their own is time-consuming and cost them money. They also claims that the facility of racing a fraud alert is meant for consumers who genuinely are facing the threat of identity theft or who have been made a victim of identity theft and should not be abused by a Corporation sending these requests in bulk. According to Experian the fraud alert service is meant to be used by a consumer on an individual basis and not for a commercial purpose.

LifeLock’s other services include helping retrieve the contents of a stolen or lost wallet, change of address alerts to prevent mail identity theft, online patrolling to catch the sale of your personal information and $1 million guarantee to offset the cost of identity theft if you become a victim while you’re enrolled in LifeLock program and the theft is due to a defect or failure in their service.

Advantages of the LifeLock program are that it orders your credit reports automatically and renews a fraud alert so that you do not have to do these yourself. It makes sure that there is a fraud alert on your credit report in case you forget to renew the alert in time.

There are, however, several drawbacks of the LifeLock service as well.

Placing constant fraud alerts on your credit report may be detrimental to your credit approval assess. Creditors and banks will need to go through an additional verification process for your credit information that might delay or even deny your credit application.

You may be unable to access certain online management services due to the presence of fraud alert.

LifeLock orders the free annual credit reports from the three credit bureaus all at once. This means that you will be able to check your credit reports from the three credit bureaus only once a year. The usual advice is to stagger checking your credit report once every quarter so that you can be more up to date with the information being reported on your credit file to three different credit bureaus.

The most important point to note about LifeLock services is that, most of the services that they offer to do for you, you can do it yourself a free. You can place a fraud alert on your credit report at no cost as sell as excess your personal free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com for free from each of the three national credit bureaus.

Is there is a cost involved in using LifeLock which is either $10 per month or $110 per year which you can pay either through a credit card or PayPal.

You can sign up online but cannot discontinue your subscription online. In other cancel your subscription you will need to call the customer service on 1-800-LIFELOCK.

Using the LifeLock services may or may not make sense for you. If you’re contemplating a credit monitoring service or a LifeLock service, then you need to look at two basic things. LifeLock offers prevention of identity theft rather than post-identity theft alerts watches what a credit monitoring service does. However you can always place the security alert on your credit files yourself for free as long as you can remember to update the request every 90 days. Secondly, a credit monitoring service will allow you to view your credit reports as frequently as you wish whereas the LifeLock services will get you your credit report only once a year from the three national credit bureaus. These credit reports are available to you for free anyway and you can excess yourself from www.annualcreditreport.com. In case you are repairing your credit and need to monitor your credit report or have been a victim of identity theft and is need to check your credit report frequently for fraudulent transactions, a credit monitoring service makes much more sense since it will allow you constant credit report monitoring as well as alerts to unusual activity on your credit file.

Fighting Identity Theft with Fraud Alert

What Is a Fraud Alert?

When a person suspects that his personal information has been compromised or has been a victim of identity theft he can place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert on the credit report is notification to any creditor accessing your credit report that he needs to a fight identity of the person applying for credit. A fraud alert is a notification that requires a creditor by law to take extra measures to check the identity of the person which may involve asking for additional proof of identity and calling the consumer.

Two Major Types of Fraud Alerts

The primary fraud alert can be placed by person who suspects that his identity has been stolen and can be used to commit fraud. This kind of an alert can be placed by writing to the credit bureaus by mail or over the telephone and lasts for a period of 90 days. The second kind of a fraud alert is an extended fraud alert and is applicable to the consumer who has been made a victim of identity theft. A person who has been a victim of identity theft will need to send an application for a fraud alert in written and provide a report of identity theft which could be a police report, identity theft report or DMV report. The extended fraud alert lasts for a period of seven years to the time that the person removes the fraud alert from the credit report.

While a fraud alert is helpful in preventing identity theft it is not 100% foolproof. First of all a fraud alert will not prevent you from identity theft. If you have place an initial fraud alert a cluster period of 90 days and the thief might try to steal your identity and open a new account after the alert has subsided. An identity thief could also use the stolen information to open accounts or you services that do not require a credit check such as telephone or utility services. In these cases a fraud alert on your credit report will not prevent fraudulent transactions being made based on a stolen financial information.

The effectiveness of a fraud alert on a credit report is dependent upon a business or a creditor doing a proper check to confirm the identity. Human error could result in the thief getting away even though the fraud alert on the credit report is in place.

Another alternative to a fraud alert is putting a security freeze on your credit report which will prevent creditor from checking your credit report and new accounts from being opened is that require the creditor to check your credit report from either of the three main credit bureaus. However even a security freeze is not foolproof percent recent that’s the thief can still open accounts and try and you services in your name that don’t require a credit check.

How to Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report

If you suspect that your personal information has been stolen and can be used to make fraudulent transactions to open new accounts for seeing your name than you may place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. There are two kinds of fraud alerts that can be placed on the credit report. There is an initial fraud alert which typically lasts for a period of 90 days. For overseas military personnel a fraud alert lasts repeated one year. The second and a fraud alert is when you have been a victim of identity theft. This fraud alert will last for a period of seven years off to the time that you remove it from your credit report depending upon the laws prevent in your state.

In order to place a fraud alert on your credit reports you’ll need to contact each of the credit bureaus over the telephone or in writing. Many place a fraud alert with one credit bureau it is required to notify the other two credit bureaus as well.

In order to place a fraud alert on your credit report you need to send a request in writing or call them on the phone number provided below providing your account number, name, address, social security number, identity proof and an identity theft report in case you have been a victim.

These are the addresses for sending in a request for fraud alert on your credit report to the three national credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Equifax

By phone: 18005256285

By mail: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GAA 30374-0241

Experian

By phone: 1883973742

By mail: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, Texas 75013

TransUnion

By phone: 18006807289

By mail: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790.

Many place a fraud alert on your credit report when you have been a victim of identity theft it is known as an extended fraud alert. This will lasts repeated seven years or until the time that you remove the fraud alert. All credit bureaus require that the extended alert be requested in writing by mail.

Ways to Prevent And Fight Identity Theft

It can take months and even years to clear your identity once a thief has stolen it. This process can include getting your credit reports filing affidavits and proving the theft. The time and effort required to caring an identity theft depends upon the civility of the debt and the duration of which it has gone unnoticed. The fact of the matter is that you cannot creditors have completely and 100% from identity theft. What you can do is to reduce the chances greatly of identity theft happening and reducing the collateral damage of an identity theft to minimum of falling certain that lines and acting quickly.

Placing a Security Freeze On the Credit Report

You can place a security freeze on your credit report by contacting one or all three of the credit bureaus. A security freeze will prevent creditors from accessing your credit report and be a limitation to an identity thief who is trying to open new accounts with creditors will need to check your credit report before approving an account.

Place a Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report

If can place a fraud alert on your credit report. You can place an initial fraud alert which last for 90 days or a seven years if you can prove that you have been a become of identity theft. A fraud alert for overseas military personnel lasts a period of one year. A fraud alert on a credit report compels the creditor to check and verify the identity of the person applying for a new account. It also requires them to make a call to the applicant and confront identity. A fraud alert requires that an applicant presents additional documents to prove is identity before a new credit accounts can be approved in his name.

Check Your Credit Report

You should check your credit report at least once a year from each of the three credit bureaus. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once every year. You can access your free personal credit report from www.andwillcreditreport.com. Checking your credit report frequently will make sure that you are aware of information being reported on your credit file and are quickly made aware of any suspicious activity such as unsolicited accounts being opened in your name.

Purchase Additional Credit Reports

if you have exhausted your three free credit reports from the three credit bureaus you may purchase a credit report for as low as $11 from Equifax or from all three credit bureaus for as low as $15 from true credit.com. You can also use credit monitoring to get your free credit report if the credit monitoring service offers a trial offer. Be sure to cancel your subscription will in the trial offer or your credit card will get charged for the monthly fee of the credit monitoring service.

Keep Your Social Security Number Safe

Keep your financial information such as social security number and credit card numbers safely. Keep your credit cards in a safe place. Only carry the credit cards that you intend to use anti-trust at home.

Use Credit Monitoring Service

Using a credit monitoring services not all is recommended as it involves a cost. A credit monitoring service is not a completely effective tool in preventing identity theft but can be used to monitor your credit file if you have already become a victim of identity theft. You can use a credit monitoring service to frequently view your credit report after an identity theft to check whether any fraudulent activity or new accounts are being opened in your name. The price of various credit monitoring service differs. Shop around so that you can find the one that you can afford and suits your needs the best.

Shred Credit Card and Important Documents before Throwing Them Away

If for you throw away unused credit cards or the preapproved credit cards that your receipt in you may be sure that you destroy them adequately so that no information can be stolen from them. Follow the same rule before discarding your credit card bills and other paperwork that contains sensitive financial information such as checking account numbers.

Pay Your Bills Online

Instead of sending cheques for utility payments via mail or dropping them in a check box, customer making your payments online through the websites of your creditors. Many creditors and utility service providers now offer the option of making a payment online through secure websites using a credit card or your bank account. This is usually safer as it is an automated process and does not involve the human element. Whenever you make your payments online through secure websites your information is processed by a secure server and sent directly to your credit card or banking institution.

The Difference between a Fraud Alert and a Security Freeze

Sometimes people confuse matters between a fraud alert on their credit report and a security freeze.  A fraud alert is an alert that you put on your credit report when you suspect that you might be a victim of identity theft and subsequently credit fraud.  And extended fraud alert also known as a fraud victims statement can be attached to the credit report after you provide proof of your identity and evidence of being a victim of identity theft which is usually a copy of a police report or any other valid identity theft report.  The initial security alert on your credit report lasts for a period of 90 days after which you can place the extended fraud alert which lasts for a period of seven years on your credit report.  The statement appears on your credit report every time a lender requests to view it.  It requires the lender to take measures and precautions to verify the identity of the applicant before granting credit in your name.  In order to remove the alert from your credit report you need to provide the request in writing along with documents that verify your identity.  These documents are required to ensure that an identity chief is not trying to remove the statement from a credit report.

A security freeze is allowed by certain states to be put on the credit report.  Unlike a fraud alert the security freeze restricts reviewing of your credit history by the lenders.  On the you and perhaps your existing lenders will be able to view your credit report.  Existing lenders are allowed access to the credit report for the purpose of updating and maintaining the credit accounts that you already have the time.  A security freeze will in no way and affair with your credit rating or with accessing your own personal copy of the credit report.  Our security freeze basically takes you of the credit market where no new lender or creditor can you hear credit report.  This includes preapproved credit of those such as credit cards and loans.  In order to remove the security freeze you will require a pin number that will be provided to you during the time of peace in the security freeze.  You should remember to unfreeze your credit history before applying for any credit a service that may require to access your credit report before approving your application.  This situation includes opening a new mobile phone account of applying for a job.  If you do not unfreeze your credit report in advance the business will be unable to check your credit history and thus be unable to approve your application.

Will fraud alert help me In the Case of a Cheque Fraud

A person who has been the victim of a cheque fraud may experience bad cheques being made out on his savings current-account. This kind of fraud is exactly the reason why security alerts exist. However a security alert or of fraud alert on the credit report will not be able to help a person who is the victim of a cheque fraud. Since a cheque fraud that does not involve credit it will not be reported to the credit reporting agencies. If a transaction is not reported to the credit bureau and there is very little or nothing that the credit bureau can do about it. Credit alert all security alert on a credit report exists for the purpose of letting the lenders that the person who the credit report belongs to may be in the danger of already a victim of credit fraud. Furthermore, the fair credit reporting act strengthens the system that mandating that the lender takes certain precautionary steps to verify the identity of the applicant which may involve making direct contact as per the contact information on the credit report as well as asking for the documents to prove the identity of the person.

If you have been the victim of a cheque fraud you can add a security alert to your credit report in order to prevent the information that has been stolen from being used to commit further credit fraud. The initial security alert lasts for a period of 90 days and has a statement attached to the credit report that is phased somewhat like this:

Fraudulent applications May be submitted in my name or identity may be used without my consent to fraudulently obtained goods or services. Do not extend credit without first verifying the identity of the applicant. I can be reached at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. This security alert will be maintained for 90 days beginning MM-DD-YY.

A security alert like this cannot be ignored and the lender is required by the federal law to take appropriate action. In case evidence of identity theft and credit fraud is found during the first 90 days of the security alert you can file a report with the police and attach a victim’s statement to your security alert. The security of the statement reads something as follows:

Fraudulent applications May be submitted in my name or identity may have been used without my consent to fraudulently obtained goods or services. Do not extend credit to the first contacting me personally in verifying all my application information at DAY XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX or EVENING XXXXXXXXXXXX. This with alert will be maintained for seven years beginning DD-MM-YY.

All the three national credit reporting companies Experian, Transunion and Equifax share the initial security alert and fraud victims’ statement. So all that you need to do is file the request with any one of the credit bureaus. The other two credit reporting agencies will take up the fraud alert automatically.

Fraud Alert on Credit Report Does Not Have an Impact on the Credit Score

Whenever there is a fraud alert found on a credit report the lender is required by the fair and accurate credit reporting act to take certain actions to verify that the duty of the borrower. In case of an extended victims statement present on the credit report the lender may try to contact you can request additional identifying documents to verify your identity. This procedure can slow down the lending process from being completed but should not however stand in the way of getting the offer approved in the end.

However manner review of the credit report is not possible in many instances. Getting approved for instant credit during the time of purchase in a store is one such an example. The process is completely automated and the sales representative does not have the power of the resources to override the automatic credit approval process. This may either result in the credit application being denied requires you to contact your credit office in order to furnish you with a written letter that you can then submit along with further documentation to prove identity. As mentioned before this entire process may take some time. Some lenders may not deal with credit reports that have a security alert attached to it as a matter of policy. It should be noted that the Banking Regulatory agencies have notified the banks that they are not allowed to deny credit to a consumer simply because there is a security alert on the file.

However, the delay in the credit approval process could affect your credit score if it calculated before the application has had a chance to come through. In case of the instant credit situations where manual credit approval is not possible such as departmental credit, your credit score could suffer due to one additional account that could otherwise have been reported on your credit report.
However, for a person who stands the risk of credit fraud, this minor affect is well worth the security and peace of mind that having a security alert on the credit report will bring.

LifeLock, Inc. Is Sued by Experian

LifeLock, Inc. is a service that claims to provide protection against identity theft to its subscribers. It has recently been sued by the Experian credit bureau based on the violation of what Experian claims to be basic trust and information issues. LifeLock, Inc. services aimed to protect the consumer and their credit report against fraudulent activity by adding a fraud alert to the credit report of their subscribers. Experience has alleged in their lawsuit against LifeLock, Inc. that LifeLock, Inc. is engaging in this deceptive and fraudulent behavior that harms consumers and Experian credit bureau.

In order to understand the basis of the lawsuit against LifeLock, Inc. the first need to understand the importance of a fraud alert on credit report. Lenders and creditors that use credit reports of consumers in order to approve them for business rely on fraud alert on the credit report to take various precautions in order to avoid identity theft and credit fraud. A fraud alert is something that every consumer has a right to put on his/her credit report for no charge at all. This is plight has been provided to every single consumer in the United States of America by the fair and accurate credit reporting act. Experience feels that by adding thousands of fraud alerts on the credit reports of its subscribers like flock is undermining the importance and the seriousness of what this process is supposed to accomplish.

When the Congress enacted the divisions to the fair credit reporting act, it did not intend for corporations to be able to act on the behalf of consumers. A fraud alert was intended to be added personally by the consumer who felt that he was at a threat for credit fraud or had evidence to suggest that he had been made victim of identity theft. A fraud alert on a credit report alerts a lender that is the consumer suspects that he may be in danger of identity kept and mandates the lender to take certain precautions such as contacting the customer before approving the credit and asking for additional documents to prove identity. The lenders and creditors are required by law to take actions when there is a fraud alert on a credit report. However, adding thousands of fraud alerts on credit reports of individuals who might have no reason to believe that they are going to be targeted for identity kept reduces the significance and importance of a fraud alert on a credit report significantly. Each time that a victim contacts the credit reporting agency to request a fraud alert that and that is shared with all the three national credit reporting agencies. Three separate confirmations are made each consumer. Three free reports from each company are also offered to the person who places a fraud alert on their credit report. Filing a fraud alert every 90 days by LifeLock, Inc. has resulted in flooding of the databases of the national credit bureaus with thousands of allegedly illegal fraud alerts.

Experian has also displayed concerns that while consumers may believe that the service offered by LifeLock, Inc. is a foolproof way of protecting the identity, LifeLock, Inc. services do not offer a foolproof protection plan. Allegedly this fact was proven when the president of LifeLock, Inc. was himself victimized after advertising his Social Security number and name on television as well as on their website. An identity chief uses Social Security number to get himself approved for a pay day loan which did not involve getting a credit report at all. Because no credit report was involved of fraud alert could not prevent the fraudulent transaction.

There are other certain points about nondisclosure of information by LifeLock, Inc. to its subscribers those expression customers to be unethical. Allegedly, LifeLock, Inc. services do not inform their subscribers that the free report that they offer them once a year is in fact the free annual report that any consumer can get on their own by logging on to www.annualcreditreport.com. Allegedly, they also could not make the point very clear to the subscribers that the fraud alerts that they are going to be putting on the credit report is a right that all individuals have in the United States of America. Any individual can put a fraud alert on their credit report without any cost to them as well. LifeLock, Inc. also claims that its services drastically reduce junk mail and preapproved credit offers. What they do not reveal to their subscribers is that they are simply posing as subscribers in using the feet of the service provided by the national credit reporting agencies which the consumer can use for free by calling 1-888-567-8688.

While taking this step removes you from preapproved offer lists compiled by Experian, Equifax and Transunion for a period of five years permanently you choose to do so, it will not however, the movie from the mailing lists compiled by others or prevent you from receiving marketing offers for the products and services.

Fraud Alert Does Prevent a Loan Approval

Sometimes people get into situations where they feel that their financial data has been compromised so much so that it may be possible for someone to commit identity fraud. A typical situation is where the wallet or a purse gets stolen along with credit cards, driver’s license and perhaps possibly the SSN. The prudent thing to do in this case will be to place a security alert on your credit report after filing a report with the police and cancelling your credit and debit cards that have been stolen.

Why people hesitate is if they are soon to make an application for a major line of credit such as mortgage loan or an automobile loan. They feel doubtful as to whether placing a fraud alert on their credit report will prevent them from getting the loans that they are applying for. The fact is that while placing a fraud alert on your credit report will probably slowed down the approval process for the loan it will not stop it altogether. The process of loan application gets slowed down due to the fraud alert because of the fact that a fraud alert requires every vendor to verify that identity of the applicant manually by taking preventive measures against identity theft such as making a call to the applicant and requesting additional documents as proof of identity.

The initial security alert that you put on your credit report lasts for 90 days and is shared with the National credit reporting agencies. The window of 90 days gives you time to verify whether your identity has indeed been used to commit credit fraud. If you do not find any evidence of any malicious activity against your credit then you can simply let the 90 day credit alert expire. If you do find evidence that credit fraud has been committed against you than you can add an extended statement called the fraud written statement which says that you are a victim of identity theft. Filing a victim’s statement require you to first find a police report which in case of theft of wallet or of those you must already have done. A fraud victim of statement requires the lenders to contact you before granting credit in your name. Fraud victim’s statement remains on the credit report for a period of seven years and is shared with all the National credit reporting agencies.

The idea behind fraud alert is to help individuals who believe their financial information has been compromised combat the risk of fraud and assist those who have been victims of credit fraud to recover from the cry. Federal law requires that all winters and businesses respond in a decreed fashion to the security alerts found on a credit report making them effective in combating identity theft and credit fraud.

Fraud Alert Can Slow Down Credit Approval Process

Whenever you place a fraud alert on your credit report, a lender gets notified of this whenever he accesses your credit report. A fraud alert requires that the lender takes extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant. It requires that steps be taken to manually verify the identity such as calling the consumer and asking for additional documents to verify identity.

In most cases of loans such as a mortgage loan, automobile loan etc. the process of the approval for the loan can get slowed down by the presence of a fraud alert, although never completely stopped by it.

Other effects of a fraud alert are that you do not get automated credit approvals for offers like instant car loans or pre-approved home loans. Since these systems are completely automated and do not choose people manually, they ignore the credit reports of consumes with a fraud alert on them.

You may also not qualify for certain credit offers that are fully automated such as departmental credit cards for a discount. These processes are also automated, instant and low cost. A presence of a fraud alert automatically causes the system to reflect the application and the vendor had no way of verifying your identity manually.

Because of these reasons, bear in mind that a fraud alert is to be used only when you think that you have been a victim of identity theft and if you suspect that sensitive financial data has been stolen. It is not meant to be a safety or a precautionary method to prevent identity theft.