There are plenty of sacrifices that come with being in the military and that includes not always being physically present and available to handle everyday issues as they arise. Therefore, it’s important to have systems in place to help do those things for you. That’s why we do what we do. We’ve identified the best identity theft protection services for military personnel, then researched, tested and compiled the data into a single source format that’s easy to read and understand. When using our website, you will have access to the results of our data that includes detailed reviews, the pros and cons of each service, and side-by-side comparisons that will make it easier to decide which identity theft protection service is right for you.
1. Identity Guard
Identity Guard is a service provided by Intersections, Inc. a Delaware corporation that has been in business since 1996 and in that time has helped resolve more than 140,000 cases of identity fraud. They currently have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and represent more than 47 million consumers in the U.S. Identity Guard prides themselves on being able to quickly evolve and keep up with the ever-changing identity fraud landscape. They are also the only identity theft protection service that uses Watson which is an artificial intelligence program that can scour billions of data points for vulnerabilities and if any are found, they will alert you immediately. Additionally, Identity Guard has been recognized in the Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll by the Online Trust Alliance for six consecutive years for implementing the best practices in data security and privacy.
- IBM Watson artificial intelligence program
- One million insurance and stolen funds reimbursement
- SSN monitoring
- Family plan available (covers unlimited family members of the same household)
- Cyberbullying monitoring and alerts
- U.S.-based case managers
- Credit bureau monitoring
- Child plans only available under a family plan (can’t be purchased individually)
- Upper tier plan is expensive (but you get comprehensive coverage)
- Individual plans only cover one adult
- Limited protections under the most basic plan
Identity Guard offers six protection plans, which are three individual plans and three family plans.
The individual plans are the Value for $8.99/mo., the Total for $19.99/mo., and the Premier for $24.99/mo.
The family plans are the Value for $14.99/mo., the Total for $29.99/mo., and the Premier for $34.99/mo.
The number of features you will receive is dependent on the plan you choose. The available features include IBM Watson AI, $1 million insurance with stolen funds reimbursement, U.S.-based dedicated case manager, risk management score, online identity dashboard, and a mobile app. You will also receive alerts for dark web activity, high-risk transactions, monthly credit score, 3-bureau credit changes, takeovers of your bank accounts, requests to open checking or savings accounts using your information, 3-bureau credit report, and any potential threats detected by Watson AI. They also offer some helpful tools such as a mobile app, an extension for safe browsing, and a social insight report.
If you are in the military, LifeLock offers one of the best identity theft protection services for military personnel because it has the coverage and company stability most people are looking for in 2019. LifeLock has been in business for 14 years, has more than 4.4 million customers, and a 4.5-Star customer rating from over 9,000 member reviews. Additionally, in 2016, LifeLock was named in the Online Trust Honor Roll for excellence in consumer protection, data security, and responsible privacy practices.
LifeLock leverages unique data, science, and patented technology to provide identity theft protection and detection. They also offer proactive identity theft alerts and comprehensive remediation services should you ever become an identity theft victim. This is especially important for military personnel who are often deployed to another country and aren’t able to handle the remediation process themselves.
- Identity theft protection with Norton internet security included
- A million dollar protection package and stolen funds reimbursement
- Access to lawyers and experts when needed
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- LifeLock mobile app
- Lost wallet protection
- Credit bureau, dark web, and privacy monitoring
- Limited protections on basic membership plan
- Membership automatically renews if you don’t cancel it
- Norton protection is not supported on iOS devices
LifeLock offers three identity theft service plans. LifeLock Standard which is $9.99/mo, LifeLock Advantage which is $19.99/mo., and LifeLock Ultimate Plus which is $29.99/mo. These prices are for the first year only. The prices go up after the first year.
The LifeLock protection features you receive will depend on the plan you choose. Their features include SSN and credit alerts, security protection for up to five devices, bank, credit activity, and crimes in your name alerts, one to three annual credit bureau reports and scores, a U.S.-based restoration team, a lost wallet service, USPS address change verification, dark web monitoring, privacy monitoring, data breach notifications, and fictitious identity monitoring. And with the highest tier plan you also get monthly credit score tracking for one bureau, 401(k) activity alerts, attempts to take over your bank accounts and open new accounts in your name, searches of file-sharing networks, sex offender registries, and priority live member support.
IdentityForce was recently acquired by EZShield and has more than 40 years of experience to protect your identity. Their services are backed by a million dollar insurance policy and are used by millions of people, Global 1000 organizations, and they are a GSA Tier One provider for the U.S. Government, which is reassuring to military personnel. IdentityForce combines advanced detection technology for monitoring your identity, privacy, and credit security. And, they have 24/7 support, as well as real-time alerts when suspicious activity is detected.
- 14-day free trial
- Advanced detection technology
- A Million dollar insurance policy
- Fully managed restoration services
- Stolen funds replacement
- Advanced fraud monitoring, credit monitoring, and privacy tools
- 24/7 support and real-time alerts
- Trial period cancellation not automatic
- Prices higher than other services (but more features are provided)
IdentityForce has two identity theft protection plans and a Childwatch plan. The UltraSecure plan which is $17.99/mo. or $179.90/yr. and a UltraSecure+Credit plan which is $23.99/mo. or $239.90/yr.
For those looking for the best identity theft protection service for military personnel in 2019, IdentityForce has a comprehensive protection package that includes a wide variety of services such as advanced monitoring for change of address, court records, dark web, pay day loans, sex offenders, and social media identity. They also offer alerts such as bank and credit card activity, a smart SSN tracker, junk mail opt-out, identity threat alerts, fraud alert reminders, medical identification fraud, online computer security tools, two-factor authentication, a lost wallet service, and a mobile app.
IdentityForce has $1 million in identity theft insurance, fully managed restoration services, and toll-free customer service. And if you opt for the upper tier plan, you also get 3-credit bureau monitoring, 3-credit bureau reports, 3-credit bureau credit scores, a credit score tracker, and a credit score simulator.
Why Are Military Personnel Targets of Identity Theft?
As we mentioned earlier, being in the military has some disadvantages being that you aren’t always available to monitor and handle your civilian life, especially if you have been deployed abroad. Also, military personnel are at double the risk of identity theft than the general public is…but why?
Well, it’s very simple really, military personnel are preferred targets for identity theft because criminals know they have a steady, predictable paycheck. And that’s not the only reason, until recently all military IDs were linked to social security numbers, so they were easy to steal. Additionally, there are times that military personnel are in places where they don’t frequently use their identity so it takes longer for identity theft to be discovered. This is just another reason not to post dates, pictures, and your current whereabouts anywhere on social media.
An identity theft incident for military personnel can have severe consequences such as the revocation of their security clearance, etc. However, active military personnel do have some protective options such as placing an “Active Duty Alert” on their credit file and checking all three of their credit files once a year at the very least. They should also consider having their credit files locked or frozen. In addition, they should always shred personal documents, don’t use obvious passwords, be diligent about sharing their social security number and military ID, and never click on links from unsolicited emails. And, of course, the best possible way to proactively deal with this type of threat is to invest in a quality identity theft protection service.
Additionally, many veterans could be eligible for free credit monitoring through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as a program called “More Than a Number” that helps veterans and their beneficiaries with information which teaches them how to protect themselves.
You should absolutely have someone watching out for your best interest while you are in the field watching out for ours.
What to Do If You Are Deployed and Suspect Identity Theft
If you are deployed and you suspect identity theft, you should react as quickly as possible. Stop and analyze the situation—what type of identity theft has occurred, credit, banking, government benefits, etc. and keep thorough notes with names, dates, and times including records of all your actions and don’t throw them away after you believe everything has been resolved because sometimes things can continue to pop up from time to time.
Next, you should:
- Place a fraud alert with one of the three national credit reporting agencies such as Experian 1-888-397-3742, TransUnion 1-800-680-7289, or Equifax 1-888-766-0008. This will help prevent any further accounts from being opened in your name. Once you put a fraud alert on one credit bureau, they will notify the other two.
- Check every one of your financial accounts for fraudulent activity and closely review all three of your credit reports.
- File a report with the local police.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Check your computer and mobile devices for viruses and malware.
- Fill out the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Affidavit to secure your proof of identity because you are going to need to be able to prove that you are who you say you are, probably for years to come.
After an identity theft incident has occurred, it could take hundreds of hours to straighten everything out and this process could take years. However, if you have an identity theft protection service, they will take care of most (but not all) of this for you if you opted for a plan with comprehensive coverage and not just credit bureau monitoring.
If you are in the military and are frequently on active duty, you really can’t afford to be without identity theft protection, especially since you now know that military personnel are preferred targets for this type of crime. You don’t want to risk your military status or your civilian status if you should become a victim of identity theft. This is especially true if you are deployed and don’t have the option of being home where you can quickly get your hands on the documents needed to prove your case or have unlimited access to the phone time needed to contact each of your affected accounts, etc. An identity theft protection service is your best possible option for recovery with as little disruption to your life and your family’s life as possible.
Features of Identity Theft Services for Military Personnel
It’s particularly important for military personnel to have the very best identity theft protection with all the right features, especially since they are a preferred target for identity thieves. Therefore, consider taking some time to learn and thoroughly understand all the different options available to you. Then compare those options to narrow down which service best fits your particular needs. This is the only way you will be able to make an educated decision about which service is right for you.
Here are some of the most common features of identity theft services for military personnel in 2019.
Social security number monitoring uses advanced technology to monitor billions of pieces of online data including the dark web for unauthorized use. And if the results detect your social security number being used, you will be immediately notified, usually via a phone call, automatic text or email alert. This will enable you to take action before much or any damage is done. Social security monitoring is especially important for military personnel because they are specifically targeted for identity theft and because the military uses SSN numbers often and in a lot of their paperwork. The more your social security number is used the higher the chances of identity theft will be. If you are notified that your social security number appears to be being used fraudulently, contact your identity theft monitoring service immediately, so they can work with you to correct the incident and provide you with emergency funds, etc. if needed and if your plan includes such service.
Black Market Surveillance
Black market surveillance scours thousands of criminal underground websites, forums, chat rooms, criminal internet databases, etc. to look for the sale, use, or trading of your personal information. This would include your name, address, social security number, driver's license number, email address, and/or passwords. Identity thieves commonly sell your information rather than using it themselves for fraudulent purposes. Once your information is sold, it can then be used for any number of crimes, including theft, illegal immigration, medical purposes, opening accounts in your name, and a wide variety of other fraudulent activities. Therefore, if you are a member of the military and your identity is stolen, or any of the military websites or records are hacked, black market surveillance has a much better chance of catching it than you would if you didn't have an identity theft protection service.
Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring might seem like something that's not all that important, but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the easiest places for a criminal to get your personal information is from social media websites. That's where social media monitoring comes in because this feature uses advanced technology to scour social media websites, the dark web, hacker forums, and more to see if your personal information has been scraped then used or bought and/or sold fraudulently. If you are a member of the military, you already know military personnel are more susceptible to identity theft than the general public. Therefore, you should be extremely careful about what personal information you post on your social media pages so a hacker doesn't know you are abroad and scrape your pages, then use your personal information against you.
Dark Web Monitoring
Dark web monitoring is sometimes referred to as cyber monitoring and it uses advanced technology to scour the internet, underground websites, hacker forums, and other places where stolen personal information is bought and sold. And this includes hacking and mishandling of military personnel records that end up on the dark web.
Identity Theft Insurance Coverage
Identity theft insurance coverage is the protection that covers some of the costs associated with identity theft. This type of coverage will reimburse you for money that you spend while reclaiming your financial identity and the costs associated with repairing your credit. This could be anything from utility bills, legal assistance, etc. If you think about it, you insure everything else in your life (car, home, health), why wouldn't you insure yourself against identity theft? Additionally, being in the military, you need identity theft insurance more than anyone else because it will be there to monitor your identity for you when you are not available to do it yourself.
Pay Day Loan Monitoring
A pay day loan is a short-term loan for immediate cash. A criminal will apply for a pay day loan using your social security number. Identity theft protection services monitor for this type of activity and will alert you if such activity is found.
Lost Wallet Protection
Lost wallet protection is a feature many identity theft protection services offer. This feature will help you cancel and replace your cards, driver's license, medical identification, etc. Many people don't keep their card information aside from the actual cards themselves; therefore, if you lose your wallet or purse, you won't have any phone number or account numbers handy to make quick calls to cancel and replace them. Lost wallet protection is even more important for military personnel because if you lose your wallet or purse, you might not be able to access your account numbers, etc. if you are not stationed where you can get to that information.
Address Change Verification
Address change verification is a process the United States Postal Service uses to make sure any given delivery address is valid before mail is sent out. Identity thieves use this system to have your mail forwarded to another address so they can open accounts in your name and have the bills sent to another address to cover up the fraudulent activity. They also know that this could buy them some time because it's usually a while before an identity theft victim realizes what has happened. Identity theft protection services look for unusual mail activity such as a change in your mail volume, as well as checking your credit reports for credit checks, new accounts, and charges, etc. This service should be of particular interest to you if you are in the military. This is because if you are based away from home, you won't be there to get the address change verification form the USPS sent you until you get back, which will probably be too late to prevent your address from being changed and damage from being done.
Identity restoration and identity resolution are two different things, although the outcome is the same. Identity restoration is a feature many identity theft services offer. Identity restoration is when your identity is stolen and your identity theft service does all the work to restore it for you. Identity restoration takes a great deal of time and energy, not to mention red tape. An identity resolution service is one that doesn't do much, if any, of the work for you. Identity resolution services typically guide you through the process without doing any of the work for you. You do all the work yourself. In fact, being in the military, you are more likely to be a victim of identity theft. Therefore, having identity theft protection coverage is extremely important because it will be there to fully manage the restoration for you (if it's included in your particular plan), which would be something you probably couldn't do yourself if you were deployed.