This article contains sponsored advertising content, but all opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago I got a phone call.
The caller said he was from our tax office, and he knew my name (and obviously my phone number). He then asked me a bunch of questions, and asked me to clarify my address and email.
Luckily the call was legitimate, but it had come out of the blue, and I answered his questions without a second thought.
Tip! One of the best ways to protect your family against identity theft is to sign up for a top-rated identity theft protection product like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM Identity Theft Protection Family Plan. Click here to find out more.
When I hung up, I got to thinking how awful it would have been if it hadn’t been a legitimate call. Just like that, I’d given away a bunch of personal information, and if the caller hadn’t been legitimate, I would be at risk for identity theft.
I won’t make that mistake again (I’ll phone future callers back through a publicly listed number, to start).
Scarily, a phone call isn’t the only way someone can get your identity. Identity theft can happen as easily as clicking on the wrong link in a spam email, or even if a thief steals mail from your mailbox.
What is identity theft? Identity theft is when personal and financial data is illegally obtained by fraud or deception, usually for financial gain. Identity thieves often deliberately use someone else’s identity to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, withdraw money for your bank account, or even sell your information to other criminals.
Here’s what surprises me the most: identity theft is incredibly common. Every two seconds an identity is stolen in the US, and 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2016! That’s an awful lot of people, and I suspect the number is growing every year.
Identity theft is more than an inconvenience, it can do a lot of damage. Identity thieves stole more than $16 billion last year and that number is expected to continue to rise.
What are you doing to protect your family from identity theft?
To be honest, until that phone call I hadn’t thought much about identity theft.
And I certainly hadn’t thought about it from our entire family’s point of view. However, the more I researched, the more I learned that identity theft is pretty common, and that it can even impact kids!
Even worse, child identity theft can go undetected for years!
Identity thieves understand that children’s credit is seldom monitored, and identity theft targeting children is often undetected until a child is older and applies for a student loan or credit card.
One of the best ways to protect your family against identity theft is to sign up for a top-rated identity theft protection product like Experian’s IdentityWorksSM Identity Theft Protection Family Plan.
An identity theft protection plan is an affordable way to search the dark web for personal information like Social Security numbers and medical IDs for your entire family, and monitor adult credit reports.
Experian IdentityWorksSM Identity Theft Protection Family Plan
The Experian IdentityWorksSM Identity Theft Protection Family Plan offers coverage for either one or two adults, and up to ten children who are under the age of 18.
It includes daily dark web scans, provides control over who can access your credit, and offers and dedicated live support for the whole family.
For children, the identity protection includes Dark Web surveillance, SSN monitoring, social network monitoring, fraud resolution services and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance (depending on the plan selected).
How much does identity theft protection cost?
The monthly cost for an entire family is affordable (it costs less than a meal out!) and depends on the number of adults in the plan, and the type of plan you choose (either the IdentityWorksSM Plus or the IdentityWorksSM Premium).
For a family with two adults, the IdentityWorksSM Plus is $19.99 per month, and IdentityWorksSM Premium is $29.99 per month.
For a family with one adult, the IdentityWorksSM Plus is $14.99 per month, and IdentityWorksSM Premium is $24.99 per month.
There’s also a discount on all plans if you pay for an annual membership.
The IdentityWorksSM Premium membership includes monitoring credit reports on Experian, Equifax®, and TransUnion®, plus it provides comprehensive identity theft monitoring that detects and alerts you to threats to your identity, personalized identity restoration services, and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. IdentityWorksSM Plus provides credit monitoring on Experian only.