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In 2016 alone, more than 15.4 million consumers in the United States were victims of identity theft with more than 16 billion dollars stolen. With online shopping and credit card usage skyrocketing, it is not surprising that identity theft hit an all time high in 2016.
Recognizing this fact, Experian has been offering consumer protection from identity theft for close to a decade. The latest product, IdentityWorksSM, expands the offering to protect against the latest online threats. This product provides users with credit and identity theft monitoring, daily FICO® Scores (See site for free trial details), alerts of fraudulent activity, theft insurance and a fraud resolution center. This means that you are able to detect identity theft and resolve it quickly before extreme damage is done to your credit score.
Advantages of IdentityWorksSM
Provided by an established credit bureau, Experian’s IdentityWorksSM is a very user-friendly product. Unlike other companies who offer credit monitoring and identity theft protection, the product is proactive in detecting instances of theft. The specialists on the fraud resolution team are knowledgeable and able to help with resolving problems on the call.
Likewise, Identity WorksSM goes beyond simple monitoring and actively searches for your personal information in a myriad of places, including 600,000 pages on the dark web, criminal registries and non-credit loan applications. There are two IdentityWorksSM memberships, Plus and Premium, each of which provide you with one million dollars of identity theft insurance.
Disadvantages of IdentityWorksSM
While up to one million dollars in identity theft insurance sounds reassuring, there are restrictions listed in the fine print. Coverage may not be available to you at all, depending on your specific location.
If it is available, however, you are likely to only receive reimbursement for a select number of financial expenses related to resolving your case of identity theft. For instance, you may receive financial compensation for lost wages, replacement card costs or credit reports when the expenses were incurred as a result of identity theft resolution.
If you have homeowner’s insurance or other existing policies, it may be difficult to receive any payout from this one million dollar policy.
IdentityWorksSM may also incorrectly flag your own charges as fraudulent and may delay reporting suspicious charges for several weeks or months, in some cases. As is the case with many credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, you can perform many of the actions offered, such as freezing your credit report, on your own for free with relatively little hassle.
(Disclosure: Identity Theft Insurance underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. Review the Summary of Benefits.)
IdentityWorksSM Plus Versus Identity WorksSM Premium
There are two subscription levels provided by IdentityWorksSM, which are referred to as IdentityWorksSM Plus and IdentityWorksSM Premium. Plus is the more basic membership which costs $9.99 per month while Premium includes everything from Plus and also offers more exclusive features at $19.99 a month.
With the more basic service, you will receive credit monitoring and fraud alerts, FICO® Score tracking, dark web scanning, identity theft insurance and fraud resolution support services.
The Premium option includes all of these features as well as 3-Bureau monitoring alerts and additional identity theft monitoring for fraudulent activity. Premium monitors and reports activity on all three credit bureaus. It also detects your information on non-credit loan requests, criminal acts and sex offender registries, social security traces and change of address request forms.
The 30 Day Free Trial of IDWorksSM
If you are unsure about purchasing identity theft protection services, IDWorksSM offers a 30-day free trial period for both their Plus and Premium services. With this free trial, you are able to utilize all of the features included with the membership level you select to determine if their credit monitoring and identity theft products are right for you.
While this free trial offers you theft protection, you will also receive valuable, comprehensive information that allows you to develop a better understanding of your credit score.
If you find this service to be useful, simply purchase your desired membership at the end of your free trial period to continue receiving assistance in monitoring and protecting your identity.