What is Identity Theft and why does Dave think we should be concerned about it?
Identity Theft happens when your personal information, such as your name, social security number and date of birth, are used by thieves without your knowledge to commit criminal and fraudulent activity. ID Theft continues to be the fastest growing crime in America affecting over 11 million people last year. Preventing ID Theft has become nearly impossible, since your personal information is on file with every government, education, medical, business and personal entity you interact with.
How do thieves get my identity?
Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold.
In addition to the people you know or do business with that could have access to your personal information, skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information.
- Data Breaches. Over 200 million people have had their identities compromised in a corporate data breach since 2005. There is no way to prevent this event from happening.
- Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form
What do thieves do with a stolen identity?
Once they have your personal information, it is used in a variety of ways.
- New Account Fraud – new accounts, loans and other credit related accounts are opened in your name
- Phone or Utilities Fraud - your name could be used for someone to get electricity, gas or cable TV.
- Bank Fraud – counterfeit checks, bank accounts or loans can be created in your name
- Employment Fraud – your identity and good credentials could be used for someone else to get a job
- Government Documents – Someone can get a driver’s license or official ID card, obtain government benefits or file a tax return using your name
- Medical ID Fraud –fraudulent changes that can occur on your medical record can pose as a health risk to you at a later time.
- Criminal Records – someone could give out your name and social security number when getting arrested
Does Credit Monitoring or Fraud Alert Programs protect me against Identity Theft?
Credit monitoring and fraud alert programs can provide limited assistance in preventing ID Theft. Since they focus exclusively on financial related Identity Theft, which represents only 50% of all occurrences, these programs end up creating a false sense of security. Thieves are using your personal information to gain employment, receive medical benefits, set up utilities, and even commit crimes in your name. None of these events will ever appear on your credit report. Paying to monitor or place fraud alerts on your credit report has a limited effect in the real world of ID Theft, and can be a waste of money. Federal Law allows you to receive a copy of each of your credit reports and place fraud alerts on your own, for free.
Does my Homeowners Policy cover ID Theft?
Many insurance companies offer an endorsement/rider to their standard policy that allows ID Theft protection to be added in a very limited way. These policies typically focus strictly on reimbursing the expenses you incur which does not address the true risk of ID Theft. Claims under these types of policies are very low since the primary risk of ID Theft is the time and effort that it takes, sometimes years, to restore your identity to the pre-theft status. Some plans will provide limited recovery assistance which offers an information packet related to phone numbers to the credit bureaus, IRS, social security administration, etc. In the end you will still need to take on all the responsibility and frustration of restoring your identity, and dealing with all the legal, financial and other personal challenges.
Can I still become a victim of identity theft if I am protected by the Zander Insurance Identity Theft Protection Plan?
While we provide a comprehensive approach to help prevent the occurrence of Identity Theft for our members, no identity protection service can prevent identity theft from happening. Data Breaches and the Internet make it easy for thieves to get our personal information. That’s why it is so important to have a plan that offers fully managed recovery services. If you become a victim of identity theft, you will be assigned an expert recovery advocate who will work with and for you to do everything necessary to restore your identity. The identity theft victims who have the Zander Insurance plan have had a 100% success rate.
Why do I need to cover my family for ID theft?
Every person with a valid social security number is at risk for Identity Theft. Children can be particularly susceptible and are targeted by ID thieves since they often don't detect identity theft until they grow up and apply for credit or a student loan. With the Family Plan, your spouse and all dependent children will be protected from identity theft. Children are covered in the family plan up to the age of 25.
Do you need my Social Security Number?
We believe that people should not have to give out this information when it is not necessary. We do not need your social security number to provide you with service, unless you become a victim of identity theft.
Why does Dave Ramsey endorse your ID Theft Protection Plan?
Dave endorses our plan, and has bought it for his family and all of his team members. He understands that Identity Theft can not be prevented and recognizes that the Zander ID Theft Protection plan is the most comprehensive, effective and affordable program available. Our plan integrates convenient access and reminders to consumer services that help reduce your risk of ID theft and takes over all the work should you become a victim. Our plan not only covers ALL types of identity theft, but guarantees complete restoration of your identity, regardless of how you became a victim. Our recovery specialists are experts and have had a 100% success rate restoring our client’s identities to their pre-theft status. In addition, we are the only company to cover family fraud, a growing area of ID Theft. Additionally, we provide protection for your entire family, which includes all dependents, plus we take care of pre-existing events as long as you had no prior knowledge of the event.
What happens after I enroll?
At the end of the enrollment process, you will be instructed to print your Member Benefits and Terms of Service or you can have them emailed to you. Please keep a copy so you refer to these documents in the future. A welcome letter will come to the email address provided and will guide you on how to take advantage of all the free consumer services available. If you do not have email, the welcome letter will be delivered through the U.S. mail.
Does the Zander Insurance Identity Theft Plan repair my credit?
A recovery advocate will help you recover from an identity theft event by restoring affected accounts and working with the credit reporting agencies to remove fraudulent accounts that can negatively impact your credit rating. These and other actions will help restore your credit rating over time. We are not a "credit repair service" and will not recommend specific actions to improve your credit rating (i.e. consolidating debt, paying bills on time, etc).
Can your program be offered to a group such as an employer or large association?
Yes, many employers and associations today recognize the growing threat of identity theft and understand the value of incorporating Identity Theft Protection into their employee or membership benefits package. Some businesses choose to offer it to their customers as a way to set themselves apart from their competitors and increase customer loyalty. Zander Insurance works with all size employers, associations and businesses across the country and has the flexibility to offer group discounts and simplified enrollment processes.