Identity Guard Review

The Online Trust Alliance recognizes Identity Guard services as “Top of the Class” for implementing the “best practices in data security and privacy.” In short, their services help protect financial information‚ personal data and privacy from theft and fraud by offering three affordable plans for individuals or families.

Identity Guard helps protect their customers from all of that and more. Using IBM® Watson™ Artificial Intelligence, Identity Guard continually scans billions of pieces of information that make up your identity. You are notified immediately through mobile app notifications and email when potential threats arise. If Identity Guard detects a noticeable change, they provide expert guidance and a personal case manager to help you resolve your issue and recovery your identity. The company also furnishes a $1 million insurance policy** that assists with stolen funds reimbursement.

Identity Guard has six identity theft protection packages tailored to individuals and families. Each package includes standard protection features while certain individual packages include additional benefits. Let’s take a look at what you get with an Identity Guard protection plan.

Pros
  • Every plan includes protection for your smartphone and computer
  • U.S.-based, dedicated case manager monitors your case for 60 days after the theft is resolved
  • Three plans for individuals and three plans for families make protection easy to customize to your needs and affordable
Cons
  • Residents of New Mexico are not able to enroll at this time

Identity Guard Cost

When you enroll through a link on retirementliving.com, Identity Guard plans cost in the range of $7.20 a month for individuals to $27.99 a month for families to get proactive protection, including predictive risk assessments with monitoring and alerts for credit and dark web activity. The dark web refers to the thousands of black market websites, underground forums and secret chat rooms that publish or are used to sell stolen identity information. If you enroll by clicking a link on retirementliving.com, you will receive a 30-day free trial*** and 20% off the monthly homepage price.

  • Individual Value Plan – $7.20 per month
  • Individual Total Plan – $15.99 per month
  • Individual Premier – $19.99 per month
  • Family Value Plan – $11.99 per month
  • Family Total Plan – $23.99 per month
  • Family Premier Plan – $27.99 per month

Identity Guard Screenshot

Identity Guard Screenshot. Source: Identity Guard Homepage

Identity Guard Plans

All Identity Guard plans include monitoring by IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, $1 Million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement, a U.S.-based dedicated case manager, a Risk Management score, an online identity dashboard and a mobile app for iOS or Android.

Identity Guard promptly alerts you whenever the service traces one of these situations:

  • They find your personal information on the dark web

  • High-risk transactions occur like account takeovers or wire transfers

  • Tax refunds, payday loan applications, utility service applications and cell service applications found in your name

  • Database breaches, phishing scams and malware vulnerabilities

Family plans, which cover all adults and children residing in one household, also send dark web alerts for a child’s information. A family plan will cover adult children (18+) living at home, but the custodial parent’s plan includes minor children. For a multigenerational household to get the best deal, the custodial parent of small children signs up for an Identity Guard family package and includes grandparents under their plan.

Depending on the plan you enroll in, there are extra features offered as well. The higher-tiered plans, the more features are included. Added protection features include:

  • Social Insight Report: This feature researches your Facebook timeline and forms an assessment of your online image. It recommends actions to improve your online image.

  • Bank Account Takeovers: The Bank Account Takeovers feature alerts you about changes to your name, address and email address is made or a new account holder is added to your bank account.

  • Credit Score* and Report: This feature gives you a monthly Vantage 3.0 credit score using TransUnion data. You’ll also get a yearly credit report with information from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

  • Dark Web Monitoring: Be alerted when your social security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and health insurance information is detected on the dark web.

  • Alerts of Potential Cyberbullying: This feature alerts you to potential cyberbullying by providing details of detected content, who posted it and what to do next. You’ll also get access to the Megan Meier Foundation for assistance.

Plan Cost Extra Benefits/Alerts
Individual Value $7.20 / month None
Individual Total $15.99 / month
  • Monthly Credit Score
  • Three-bureau credit changes
  • Bank account takeovers
  • New bank account requests with your information
Individual Premier $19.99 / month
  • All Individual Total benefits
  • Three-bureau credit report
  • Social Insight Report
Family Value $11.99 / month None
Family Total $23.99 / month
  • Monthly Credit Score
  • New bank account requests with your information
  • Bank account takeovers
Family Premier $27.99 / month
  • All Family Total Benefits
  • Three-bureau credit changes
  • Three-bureau credit report
  • Potential cyberbullying on social media
  • Social Insight Report

How to Enroll In Identity Guard Protection Plans

Signing up for an Identity Guard plan is incredibly easy and can be done right from their website using an online enrollment form. U.S.-based customer service agents will answer any questions about enrollment and can be reached by calling their toll-free number. However, for your security and protection, phone enrollment is not an available option.

Identity Guard Complaints

When reading reviews from customers, you’ll frequently see phrases like “great customer service,” “I fully trust them,” and “excellent and timely protection.” Criticisms about the company from unhappy customers seem to center around the monthly fees. Some consumers feel that since there are so many free credit monitoring services available, Identity Guard should be free as well. If the service only encompassed credit score monitoring, we would agree. However, Identity Guard offers much more than simple credit monitoring for very competitive pricing.

Identity Guard Ratings

As of April 2019, Identity Guard has above average ratings overall across other review sites.

  • ConsumerAffairs.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars with 26 reviews

  • TrustPilot: 7.6 out of 10 stars with 3,112 reviews

  • Better Business Bureau: BBB Accredited Business with an A+ for Intersections, Inc (parent company)

ID Protection
ID Protection. Source: Getty

Identity Guard Identity Theft Protection Q&A

  • What is identity theft?
    Identity theft is a federal crime that someone commits when they use your information (name, date of birth, address, credit card or bank account numbers, social security number, medical insurance account numbers) without your permission to commit fraud.

  • What can a thief do with my personal information?
    Someone who steals your identity can use your credit cards, get new credit cards in your name, open utility accounts, steal your tax refund, submit medical claims that use up your benefits, or even pretend to be you during an arrest.

  • Can victims of identity theft recover their identities without a company like Identity Guard?
    Yes, you can complete your identity recovery without professional intervention. However, the process is very time consuming and stressful. The FTC checklist has over 20 possible steps that, when printed out, take 35 sheets of paper.

  • If I don’t shop online, I’m safe from identity theft so why would I need protection?
    The myth that identity theft only happens from online shopping has caught many a consumer by surprise. According to a 2014 report by the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Identity, more than half of identity theft crimes occur offline. Many things not at all connected to the internet can turn you into a victim. A lost wallet, checkbook or social security card can compromise your identity.

    A data breach from a trusted company can expose millions of consumers. Hackers breaching Equifax, Target, JP Morgan Chase, Anthem, Home Depot, TJ Maxx and the government Office of Personnel Management exposed over 179 million records in 2017. Your mail, if not shredded, can be a treasure trove of pre-approved credit card offers, credit card bills, utility bills, medical insurance and bank statements.

  • What are the most common identity theft schemes?
    The Center for Identity Management and Information Protection lists the following as the most common non-technical schemes: dumpster diving, mail theft, social engineering, shoulder surfing and stealing personal items such as a wallet or purse.

    The most common technical schemes include credit or debit card theft, skimming at an ATM or point of sale machine, and phone scams such as pretexting, vishing and SMiShing (text message scam). Online cybercrime threats are man-in-the-middle attacks and pharming websites, phishing and various phishing offshoots where thieves trick you into giving them personal information by posing as legitimate businesses via email, phone calls, text messages and mailed information.

Conclusion

The number of elderly victims of identity theft increased to 2.6 million in 2014. According to the American Bar Association Journal of the Commission on Law and Aging, death doesn’t even stop identity thieves. Using obituaries to learn of recent deaths, the thief requests the master death file from the Social Security Administration to obtain the social security number and personally identifiable information of the recently deceased, then files a tax return and claims the refund. This fraud very often goes undiscovered until family members of the deceased file a final tax return, only to find that the filing already occurred.

No company or government agency can completely protect you from identity theft, but Identity Guard’s proactive multi-step approach comes as close as you can to total protection. A plan from Identity Guard helps you to stop identity thieves right away, giving you peace of mind. Any damage done to your credit or name is restored by working hand-in-hand with a dedicated agent, saving you countless hours and untold amounts of stress. The $1 million worth of insurance with stolen funds reimbursement helps to ensure replenishment of your financial accounts.

*The score you receive with Identity Guard is provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. It is calculated using the information contained in your TransUnion credit file. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the score you receive with Identity Guard is not the same score used by lenders to evaluate your credit.

** 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.

***Free for 30 days, then automatically renews at a monthly fee for each month thereafter unless cancelled.

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