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Daily Q&A: How can I find a legitimate identity theft protection service?

What tips do you have for finding a legitimate identity theft service?

The Consumer Federation of America publishes a report to help find credible identity theft services. Here are some questions and answers about finding the right service from CFA:

• Do the claims on the identity theft service's Web site or in its advertisements make you think that the service will completely protect you against identity theft? If the answer is yes, steer clear. No one can absolutely protect your personal information from being stolen or fraudulently used, and identity theft service providers that follow good practices won't imply that they can.

• Does the identity theft service use scare tactics to try to get you to enroll? If the answer is yes, steer clear. Identity theft service providers that follow good practices won't exaggerate the likelihood of becoming a victim or the harm that identity theft causes.

• Does the identity theft service make basic information about the company easy to find on its Web site? If the answer is no, steer clear. Identity theft service providers that follow good practices will provide basic information such as the company name, the physical location of its headquarters, and how to contact it or its product distributor directly for answers to questions.

• If the service offers to monitor your personal information and alert you if someone may be fraudulently using it, is it clear what it monitors? If the answer is no, steer clear. Identity theft service providers that follow good practices will make it easy to find information on their Web sites and through their customer service representatives about what is monitored and how frequently.

For these and other tips visit: http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/9-Things-to-Check-When-Shopping-for-Identity-Services.pdf

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How can I find a legitimate identity theft protection service? 10/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 5:20pm]
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