Identity fraud isn’t going away. In fact, it continues to be a growing problem. More than 16 million Americans have been the victim of identify theft, according to a recent poll by the Insurance Information Institute. Of those 16 million people who were a victim of identity theft, 2.6 million of them were over the age of 60.
Being the victim of identity theft can really cause a great deal of stress for anyone. Criminals can open new accounts, file taxes in your name and get payday loans if they have your personal information. Fortunately, there are companies that can help you monitor your credit and prevent theft before it happens. Some companies go one step further and offer services that can help you restore your good name. These services are called theft protection with restoration.
Top Senior Identity Theft Protection Services in 2019
Our editors have compared the top identity theft protection services to find the best one for older Americans. LifeLock is our top pick for senior identity theft protection services for 2019. Find out why.
LifeLock uses proprietary technology to detect identity theft — before it happens. LifeLock alerts you to a wide range of potential threats to your identity, including unusual credit file activity, unauthorized United States Postal Service address change, and online payday loans.
Pricing for LifeLock ranges from $9.99 per month to $29.99 per month. The LifeLock Standard Plan is $9.99 a month. It has a $25,000 limit and features SSN and credit alerts, lost wallet protection, dark web monitoring, and USPS address change verification.
The midrange plan is $19.99 a month. This plan is called LifeLock Advantage. It includes SSN and credit alerts, credit card and banking alerts, and alerts on crimes committed in your name. The limit on this plan is $100,000.
The price for the LifeLock Ultimate Plus Plan is $29.99 a month. This plan includes $1 million of coverage and a range of features like SSN monitoring, data breach notifications, annual credit scores, and bank and credit activity alerts. The LifeLock Ultimate Plus Plan even alerts you if someone commits crimes using your identity.
The most important plan offering for seniors is LifeLock Senior, which is a tailored offering specific to the needs of senior citizens.
All plans include SSN and credit monitoring and alerts, a U.S. based restoration team, and lost wallet protection.
Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of LifeLock.
- Lost wallet protection
- Free iOS and Android App
- Mobile alerts and notifications available
- 24/7 member support
- Personal expense compensation
- Reimbursement of stolen funds
- Coverage for lawyers and other experts
- Norton Security3 included
- Easy to enroll and install
- Norton Security3 protection for multiple devices available
- 401K investment activity alerts
- Plans include identity theft and identity restoration services
- Plans can be expensive
- The cheapest plans provide limited coverages
- To get the most features, you will need to purchase the most expensive plan.
Why Are Seniors Often the Targets of Identity Theft
Older adults are more vulnerable to identity theft for several reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
- More likely to own a home and have more assets that can be stolen
- Have excellent credit
- Less likely to report identity theft
- More likely to share information with doctors and caregivers
- They may be more trusting
- Socially vulnerable
Common Types of Senior Identity Theft Scams
Here are the most common types of identity theft scams that target the elderly:
- Phishing – Online scam artists transmit what looks like legitimate requests for personal information through email. The emails look legitimate and may ask seniors to verify personal information like social security numbers, usernames, and passwords for banking accounts and more. The scammers then use the stolen information to steal your money or identity.
- Caregiver scams – Sometimes caregivers take advantage of older adults, especially if they have cognitive or memory issues. The caregiver may steal the seniors’ identities and open up lines of credit.
- Stealing mail – Identity thieves may steal seniors’ identities by stealing their mail. Bank and credit card statements can provide a surprising amount of personal information to scammers.
- Telephone scams – Con artists may call seniors on the phone and use fictitious stories to steal their identity. They might pretend to be from the bank or the utilities and ask the victim to verify social security numbers over the phone.
- Medical identity theft – Seniors often have good insurance, which makes them a good target for thieves who steal insurance information.
Companies Offering Identity Protection for Seniors
There are a number of companies offering identity theft protection. Identity theft protection services range from credit monitoring to 401k investment alerts.
Although we recommend LifeLock, you might decide that another service is better for your needs. If you choose another theft protection service, you might want to check to see if it includes the following useful features.
Features of Identity Theft Services for Seniors
Social security monitoring can notify you if your Social Security number is found on risky websites.
Bank Account Takeovers
Bank account takeover refers to using your existing accounts to obtain products and services. Look for a company that offers bank account monitoring to detect this type of fraud.
Credit Score Reporting
Some identity theft protection services provide you with a monthly credit score. This can be helpful information.
Credit Score Monitoring
Credit score monitoring involves regular monitoring of your credit score to ensure that there are no significant changes that could indicate identity theft.
Identity Theft Insurance Coverage
Identity theft insurance coverage provides reimbursement if you are the victim of identity theft. Coverage amounts range up to $1 million.
401k and Investment Activity Alerts
These alerts will notify you when there is unusual activity related to your 401k or investment accounts.
Bank and Credit Card Activity Alerts
These alerts let you know when unusual activity has been detected with your bank or credit card usage.
Loan Application Monitoring
Find out if someone applies for a loan in your name.
Pay Day Loan Monitoring
Monitors the internet for payday loans in your name.