ProtectMyID

ProtectMyID Review: Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft Protection
 
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Rating:
Bottom Line:
An expensive option that lacks in protection; only includes Experian credit report monitoring; 7-day trial for $1 with enrollment; credit score and other credit reports cost extra
Full Review:
3 2015-04-29 14:45:38 ProtectMyID is an identity theft protection service offered by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. The service is overpriced considering what it provides — only monitoring of your Experian credit report rather than three-bureau credit monitoring, as well as some monitoring of your personal information.


Pricing

ProtectMyID offers one plan to cover individuals, which costs $19.95/month. You can get a 7-day trial for $1, which covers the cost of your Experian credit report. After the seven days are up, your credit card will be charged if you do not cancel. There is no option to pay annually and you are free to cancel at any time. If you would like to protect one or more children, you can add ChildSecure for an additional $6.95/month — raising your total monthly rate to $26.90/month. ChildSecure protects an unlimited number of children within your household under the age of 18. You must be the child's legal guardian to enroll them.


Signup

The signup process is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes to complete. After entering your personal information, confirming your address and entering payment information, you will be ready to start your membership.


Once your membership begins, you immediately have full access to your account on ProtectMyID's website as well as its smartphone application. This app is available for free in both the Apple app and Google Play stores. The app provides access to your fraud alerts, risk assessment — which breaks down your risk of being a victim of identity theft — and the fraud resolution center. The app's resolution center provides a step-by-step guide to follow if you fall victim to identity theft, including the necessary phone number to call. We found this helpful, especially considering how often most people are using mobile devices on the go.


Identity Theft Protection

ProtectMyID scans the Internet to ensure that your social security number, credit and debit card numbers are not being used without your knowledge. In order to receive this protection, you must provide ProtectMyID with your account numbers once you have subscribed. Unfortunately, ProtectMyID will only scan for a maximum of three credit and debit card numbers, which may be disappointing to subscribers who wish to protect more than three accounts. It also doesn't scan for bank accounts, driver's licenses or medical insurance cards like many other services do. On the other hand, ProtectMyID does monitor the U.S Postal Service database daily for any address changes and will alert you if any creditor-reported address changes occur. If no activity is detected for an entire month, you will receive an "All Clear" alert to let you know that everything is okay.


In addition to ProtectMyID's identity monitoring, you'll also receive active monitoring of your Experian credit report. The service will alert you right away if any changes are posted to your Experian credit file through email and text message alerts. You can change the settings for when and how often you receive text message alerts in your account settings. Even though daily monitoring of your Experian credit report is a good feature to have, it's not as effective in catching possible theft as monitoring all three credit bureaus — like other identity theft protection services do — because not all types of credit are reported to every bureau. This means a new line of credit could be opened in your name, but only reported to one of the other bureaus, so you might not even know.

In the event your debit or medical insurance cards are lost or stolen, ProtectMyID's Lost Wallet service will help you cancel them immediately. In order to take advantage of this service, you must enter the cards into your online account individually. Oddly, credit cards are not included in the lost wallet service, whereas many other services we reviewed included them. If a card issuer holds you liable for any fraudulent charges made on any of your accounts, ProtectMyID will reimburse you.


If you choose to protect children on your account, you can do so by signing up for ChildSecure. After entering each child's full name, social security number and birth date, ProtectMyID will scan for credit reports using your child's information. If a report (or new information on an existing report) is detected, you will be notified with an alert.


Credit Report Monitoring Information

ProtectMyID monitors your Experian credit report, watching for leading indicators of identity theft, and will alert you if any changes occur. In addition, you are given access to your full Experian report when you sign up. Although you get to look at the credit report right away, if you want to see your credit score, you will be required to pay an extra $3.95 fee — and after 30 days, if you'd like to see an updated score, you must pay the fee again. The Experian credit report you are provided with is thorough and easy to read. If you choose to receive your other two credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion, it costs an additional discounted price of $31.95. The three-bureau credit report you receive for this price is only available to view online for 30 days, so it's a good idea to print it out.


Other services, such as Identity Guard, provide all three credit reports and scores as well as three-bureau credit report monitoring. For the cost, ProtectMyID does not compare. Monitoring a single credit report does not provide as thorough protection as monitoring all three, considering some creditors may report to one but not the others.

One of the most beneficial aspects of ProtectMyID's credit report monitoring is the "Dispute Information" tool. This tool allows you to dispute anything on your Experian credit report online through ProtectMyID, and it even provides the contact information for the other two bureaus so you can easily dispute anything on those reports as well.


Identity Theft Assistance

If you do become an identity theft victim while subscribing to ProtectMyID, you'll be insured for $1,000,000, which covers certain expenses including lost wages and legal fees. You'll also have access to a dedicated resolution specialist who will speak to you by phone and assist you in taking all the necessary administrative and legal steps to restore your identity.

ProtectMyID's website and phone app both provide step-by-step guides on what to do when you realize your identity is stolen. We found this guide to be very helpful because once people realize they are victims of identity theft, they usually panic, so having this guide with tools available will hopefully help alleviate some stress when identity theft is detected.


Customer Service

ProtectMyID offers customer support via telephone and email. Call center hours are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. We found the customer service representatives to be helpful and easy to contact. The website also has a resources section with plenty of tips and information about preventing identity theft, including how to place fraud alerts and stop junk mail from coming to your home.


Conclusion

ProtectMyID isn't the best choice for consumers in terms of credit report monitoring because it only offers monitoring for one bureau. The price of $19.95/month is steep, especially if you choose to add on the cost of your credit score or credit reports from the other two bureaus. If identity theft is a concern, ProtectMyID's Internet scanning, recovery support and $1,000,000 insurance make this a so-so option.

Sign up for ProtectMyID | Compare to Other Identity Theft Protection


 
Service Details:

Price:7-day trial for $1; $19.95/mo
Fraud Monitoring:Monitors Experian credit report, credit cards, SSN, address changes, public records
ID Theft Insurance/
Guarantee:
$1,000,000 insurance
Reports Delivered:One Experian credit report
Computer Security:None

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