Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Recently, I attended a seminar on Identity Theft. It is amazing how easy it seems to be for people to steal one's identity. Maybe the more appropriate word would be scary.

I decided that until I am ready to purchase a house, I don't really need any more personal credit. Any credit I apply for now, will be for my business. My business was recently approved for a loan so it is on it's way in developing good credit and I probably won't have to continue to use my own personal credit for it to get qualified for loans. I don't anticipate having to apply for more for at least another year. I don't mind having to go through extra, perhaps cumbersome, steps to apply for more personal credit if necessary.

So, I heard about this company called Lifelock. The CEO of the company openly gives out his social security number to demonstrate his confidence in his system. So, I signed on.

I've been doing some google research and it looks like Experian doesn't like them. Apparently Lifelock's method of protecting it's member's credit creates a lot of work for Experian. They feel that unless one has actual reason to believe they are a victim of fraud that the measures Lifelock takes shouldn't be implemented.

After further research, I understand that once one credit bureau is notified, then the other big 2 are notified. Those being Transwestern and Equifax. The process to apply for a fraud alert with the latter two is very cumbersome so my guess is that it is all falling onto Experian to process the alert and then notify the other two bureaus. This might also be why Experian is screaming about Lifelock.

I got a letter from my credit union telling me one of my accounts had been compromised but that they had everything under control. What was compromised, my social security number? I receive mail everyday. One day, I noticed I didn't get any mail. Was it stolen from my box? What constitutes a reason to believe I'm a victim of fraud?

Based on all the Credit Card crap I get in the mail and how easy it seems for anyone to access my information, and how fast identity theft is growing, I am increasingly concerned about my information falling in the wrong hands.

Everything Lifelock does for it's members, members can do for themselves. It's the hassle of doing it, sort of like changing the oil in my car, that deters me. I don't know how to do these things. If you go onto Experian's website, it takes a while to find the information to create a fraud alert. You have to dig for it.

Lifelock will also stop the credit card mail I receive. And they keep doing it. Not just once but every 90 days until I stop being a member.

I read somewhere, I don't know where it was, but I have a tendency to agree with this point: The credit bureaus make a lot of money doing what they do and having access to our information that protecting our credit is not really a priority. It is also my understanding that the measures used by Lifelock make it difficult for our information to be sold. One article went on to state that they really don't care. I believe that.

1 comment:

SunWolf said...

I have heard very good things about Lifelock. Yes, they do things you can do for yourself, but would you actually do it all? It's kind of nice to have someone else do it for you, and guarantee it! Like, sure, I can clean my own house and do it quite well...but it would be really nice to have someone else do it for me.