Seniors are among the most vulnerable when it comes to identity theft, scams, and financial exploitation. See the best identity theft protection services for seniors, right here!
Their identity theft protection:
Identity Guard® uses artificial intelligence (AI) to work behind the scenes to identify problems and alert members when they detect potential threats to their identity. Three membership plans to choose from, $7.20/month-$19.99/month if purchased through The Senior List.
Why We Recommend Identity Guard®
No long-term contracts, cancel anytime
$1 million insurance** included in every plan
Family plans available to help protect everyone in a household
Automatic alerts if your information is found on the dark web
LifeLock offers identity theft protection and all plans include Norton security to protect your digital assets. LifeLock offers three membership plans to choose from ranging from $11.99/month-$34.99/month.
Identity theft is a genuine concern for older adults in the United States. According to a report by CBS, identity theft reached an all-time high in 2017. Equifax spells it out in worrying terms: Someone in America becomes a victim of identity theft every two seconds.
We took a look at identity theft protection services, how they can help seniors, and we’ll compare some of the most well-known services to see what’s out there to keep your identity safe.
Why Older Adults Are Vulnerable To Identity Theft
Anyone can become a victim of identity theft. However, seniors are particularly vulnerable for several reasons:
Seniors rely more heavily on the local community, family, friends, and caregivers. Having more people with access to and knowledge about their daily comings and goings leaves them more open to scams.
Scammers often target seniors precisely because they are vulnerable.
Older adults may be less likely to keep a close eye on their credit score, check online bank accounts, or keep a close watch on their security, than younger people.
Seniors are often trusting towards people, which is a beautiful trait, but it can also leave them vulnerable to scammers.
Scammers know that seniors are more likely to have decent assets set aside than younger people, and target them because of that.
Scammers get information from all kinds of sources: Dumpster diving, stealing mail, skimming credit or debit cards in shops, or hacking online accounts. The effects of identity theft on seniors can be devastating. The process of getting help and getting things back to normal can be complicated and upsetting, while the knowledge that someone stole their identity leaves them feeling stressed and vulnerable.
The more steps seniors can take to protect their identity, the better. One way to do that is signing up for an identity theft protection service.
What Is An Identity Theft Protection Service?
An identity theft protection service carefully monitors your personal information to check for any possible breaches. They keep an eye on the information most often compromised by identity theft, including your credit reports, social security number, your name, and public records. By monitoring your information 24/7, they can alert you the moment an issue arises so you can deal with it before it gets any further out of hand.
Many services also offer recovery services which help you deal with the aftermath of any identity theft. They have trained counselors on hand to help you figure out your next steps. They can also help you write letters, put a freeze on your credit score, and even deal with creditors. This is particularly helpful for seniors, who might feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next if they become a victim of identity theft.
How Does Identity Theft Protection Differ From Credit Monitoring?
Credit monitoring provides a similar service. However, they only monitor information directly related to your credit score, while identity theft protection monitors a wider range of information and therefore provides more protection.
Questions To Ask When Choosing An Identity Theft Protection Service
There are lots of identity theft protection services out there. Here are some questions you can ask to help you find the best one for you.
Which kinds of identity theft do they monitor? Identity theft might mean someone using your credit or debit card or attempting to use your credit to take out a loan. It can also mean someone trying to claim on your health insurance or use your social security number.
Do they use fraud alerts? Fraud alerts are requests to lenders and creditors to double check the identity of anyone trying to open an account in your name. They offer an extra layer of protection.
Which credit reports do they monitor? If a thief commits identity fraud, it might not show up on all of the “big three” (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) simultaneously. Choosing a service that monitors all three increases the chance of problems being found and reported quickly.
How quickly do they let you know if there’s a problem? Time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with identity theft, so choose an agency that lets you know in a timely manner.
What kind of support do they offer for dealing with the aftermath? One company might be with you every step to help you through the process, while another will simply send you a bunch of forms to fill in. For most seniors, the more support the better.
Do they offer any kind of insurance services, to help with the financial burden of identity theft? If they do, how does it work? How much can you claim, and what are the restrictions?
What is the cancelation policy? How easily can you cancel and what does it cost?
Taking the time to ask these questions will help you choose a plan that truly protects and helps you. If you can’t get straight answers or it’s hard to get on the phone or email with someone to talk about their service, that’s a definite warning bell and you should look elsewhere.
Now you know some of the things to look for, let’s compare some identity theft protection services so you can see what they offer and which one might be right for you. We’ve compared ten popular identity theft protection services below.
*Please note that in the case of insurance, payouts will vary by policy and circumstances. Always read the fine print.
Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Seniors
About: LifeLock is identity theft protection that works in conjunction with Norton anti-virus and anti-malware software to provide a comprehensive identity theft plan. What it monitors:LifeLock offers different levels of monitoring, depending on which plan you sign up for.
LifeLock Standard searches for credit alerts and social security number use, and UPS change of address requests. It also includes dark web scanning and lost wallet protection to help you cancel or replace credit cards and licenses. It also includes credit monitoring from one bureau.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage includes everything in LifeLock Standard, plus bank and credit card activity alerts, crimes in your name, data breach alerts, and fictitious identity monitoring. It also includes credit monitoring from one bureau.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus includes everything in Advantage, plus 401(k) and investment activity alerts, bank takeover or new account alerts, sex offender registry reports, and file sharing service monitoring. It also includes reports and credit scores from three bureaus.
All plans include Norton anti-virus and anti-malware software.
Alerts: Nearly real-time alerts by text, email or phone. Recovery services: Yes – you’ll be assigned an identity restoration specialist to work with you. Insurance: Yes. You’re covered for personal expenses, reimbursement of stolen funds, and coverage for lawyers and experts (assigned by LifeLock) to handle your case. Insurance amounts range from $25,000 to $1 million****, depending on your plan. Customer service: 24/7 support Cost: $11.99 monthly for LifeLock Standard ($8.99 monthly for the first year), $24.99 monthly for Norton 360 with LifeLock Advantage ($17.99 monthly for the first year), or $34.99 monthly for Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus ($25.99 monthly for the first year.) Free trial: No
*LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. **Terms apply to all LifeLock plans. ***The credit scores provided are VantageScore 3.0 credit scores based on data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion respectively. Any one bureau VantageScore mentioned is based on Equifax data only. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness. ****Reimbursement and Expense Compensation, each with limits of up to $1 million for Ultimate Plus, up to $100,000 for Advantage and up to $25,000 for Select, when purchased in Norton 360 with LifeLock plans. And up to $1 million for coverage for lawyers and experts if needed, for all plans. Benefits under the Master Policy are issued and covered by United Specialty Insurance Company (State National Insurance Company, Inc. for NY State members). Policy terms, conditions and exclusions at: LifeLock.com/legal.
#2. Identity Guard
About: Identity Guard® uses IBM® Watson™ AI to constantly scan for unusual or suspicious activity that could point to an identity theft situation. You set up a watch list at sign up that lets Identity Guard know what to scan for. What it monitors: Like LifeLock, Identity Guard offers different coverage depending on which plan you sign up for.
Identity Guard Value gives you alerts on high-risk transactions including but not limited to account takeovers, tax refunds, wire transfers, cell and utility service applications, and payday loan applications. Identity Guard also monitors the dark web for your details.
Identity Guard Total gives you all of the above, plus a monthly credit score*, notification of credit file changes, bank account takeovers, and requests to open new accounts in your name.
Identity Guard Premier gives you all of the above, plus a three bureau credit report and social insight reports.
Alerts: Quick alerts through email or a mobile phone app. Recovery services: You get a dedicated case manager, who personally supervises your account up to 60 days after the problem is resolved. Insurance: Up to $1 million** depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: Available 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM EST Monday to Friday, and 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST Saturday (call or email.) Cost: Value is $9.99 monthly, Total is $19.99 monthly, and Premier is $24.99 monthly. Receive a 20% off discount if you purchase through TheSeniorList.com Free trial: No
* 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.
About: IdentityForce offers a comprehensive identity theft protection service that monitors a wide range of problem areas to alert you quickly to any problems. What it monitors: IdentityForce monitors an impressively wide range, including credit and financial fraud, change of address attempts, court records, credit reports, the dark web, payday loans applications, whether a sex offender has attempted to use your identity, and unusual use of your social media accounts. Alerts: Alerts are released in practically real time, and you can get them via email or on your mobile phone as a text alert. Recovery services: Yes. Identity Protection Experts assist in all aspects of recovery, including support, filing claims, and filing paperwork on your behalf. Insurance: Yes. IdentityForce will in some circumstances cover the costs involved in recovery from identity theft, including court costs, travel, child or spousal care, ordering documents, or wages lost. Customer service: Toll-free number so you can always speak to a real person. (not clear from the website if it’s 24 hours of not.) Cost: $17.95 monthly or $179.50 if you pay a year in advance. Or, opt for protection plus credit monitoring for $23.95 monthly or $239.50 if you pay a year in advance. Free trial: Yes
#4. ID Watchdog
About: ID Watchdog monitors billions of data points for potential problems, meaning you get a full overview of any issues, twenty-four hours a day. What it monitors: ID Watchdog monitors an impressive range of information, including housing records, court records, criminal records, driving records, money transfers, payday loans, the dark web, and credit reports. Alerts: By email or SMS. You can also monitor all activity on your account via your online portal. Recovery services: Yes – if you fall victim to fraud while on an active ID Watchdog plan, you’ll be assigned an identity theft risk management specialist who will assess your case, and work with you until it’s resolved. Insurance: Up to $1 million depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: You can get help 24/7 by calling a toll free phone number. Cost: $14.95 monthly for the Plus plan, or $19.95 monthly for Platinum, which includes everything in Plus, along with your credit report and score. Free trial: No
#5. Zander Insurance
About: Zander Insurance bills itself as an affordable identity theft protection service. They monitor a range of problem areas and provide restoration services to help you get back on track if you fall victim to identity theft. What it monitors: Zander Insurance monitors your personal information, social security number, court records, change of address, and data breaches. It looks for benefits fraud, medical ID fraud, tax fraud, criminal ID theft and financial fraud. Alerts: By email. Recovery services: Yes Insurance: Up to $1 million depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: 24/7 support Cost: $6.75 monthly, or $12.90 monthly for the family plan. Free trial: No
About: PrivacyGuard provides identity and credit fraud services to alert you to any problems with your ID. You can choose between identity or credit services, or buy a combined package that takes care of both. What it monitors: PrivacyGuard ID Protection monitors public records, the dark web, ID verification requests, online directories, and your social security number. PrivacyGuard Credit Protection offers 24/7 credit monitoring, plus monthly credit reports and scores from the big three bureaus. PrivacyGuard Total Protection combines their ID and credit protection services into one complete package. Alerts: PrivacyGuard alerts customers of inquiries and certain changes to credit files by sending a text or email alert message.
The company provides real-time monitoring with email alert if your monitored information is for sale on any black market website.
PrivacyGuard sends email alerts in the event your monitored information becomes listed on internet directory sites or search engines. The company then provides instructions on how to remove your personal information from those sites or search engines.
Choose to set fraud alerts and the company provides step-by-step online instructions for resolving issues if you become a victim of fraud.
Recovery services: You will be assigned a case manager to offer support and guidance. If you have the ID Protection or Total Protection plan, PrivacyGuard will work on your behalf to get cards stopped and re-issued, work with creditors, and file paperwork. Insurance: Up to $1 million depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: 24/7 support Cost: ID Protection costs $9.99 monthly, Credit Protection is $19.99 monthly, and Total Protection is $24.99 monthly. Free trial: No, but you can try it for 14 days for just $1, after which you’ll be charged a monthly fee if you don’t cancel.
About: Experian is well known as one of the big three credit bureaus. They also offer their own identity theft protection service, for extra peace of mind. What it monitors: Experian monitors your information at all three main credit bureaus. They also monitor the dark web, court records, sex offender alerts, mail redirect requests, payday and non-credit loan applications, social security number use, social networks, file sharing services, and new bank account open requests (exact coverage and frequency varies with plans so we highly recommend reading the small print to know what’s covered before you sign up.) You can also freeze your credit report to help protect you. Alerts: When Experian identifies a problem with any monitored information, users receive a real-time alert notice that the user easily views on the Identity Theft section of Experian’s IdentityWorks site.
Users discover specifics about each alert because of the way that Experian breaks the section down into three sub-sections. The three sub-sections are Activity, Protection, and Resolution.
There is a timeline of all alerts provided, enabling users to view each of them by date. IdentityWorks easily identifies unread alert messages, distinguishing them from old alert messages. Each alert message provides instructions about contacting Experian for customer support.
Recovery services: Yes, you get dedicated fraud resolution support to help you get things back on track. Insurance: Up to $1 million depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: There is no online chat service provided for IdentityWorks users. Users call and follow the easy-to-understand phone menu and press the right button for their specific needs.
There is also an option to speak to a representative Monday through Friday from 6 am to 6 pm Pacific time or on Saturday or Sunday, from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific time.
Cost: $9.99 monthly for Plus, or $19.99 monthly for Premium, which monitors a wider range of potential ID fraud data points. Free trial: Yes, 30-day free trial available.
About: MyIDCare says it offers “World-class protection” from professionals that safeguard Fortune 500 companies and government institutions.
They also have backing from the power of ID Experts, which serves many large retailers, financial institutions, healthcare, and educational facilities.
MyIDCare offers both individual plans and plans that protect the entire family against identity theft.
The company works continually on improving and evolving services so they stay ahead of newer, more sophisticated threats to your identity.
What it monitors: MyIDCare monitors your identity for nine types of identity theft. Types of identity theft protection include medical, insurance, social security, financial, employment, synthetic, criminal, child and driver‘s license.
MyIDCare helps protect against card skimming, email phishing, WiFi network hacking, discarded documents and employment scams.
Other protection provided by MyIDCare includes mail fraud, hackers and passwords, data breaches and malware software. MyIDCare monitors your credit activity.
CyberScan is a surveillance engine used by the company that conducts searches across the internet and dark web, seeking out compromised personal information.
Users do not have to renew their credit monitoring every year when they renew their membership.
Alerts: The company alerts you if there are changes to your credit record, when someone opens new accounts in your name or when other suspicious activities occur, using your personal information. You receive alerts via text or email. Recovery services: MyIDCare offers a “Recovery Superhero.” This person is your recovery expert that acts on your behalf to resolve your identity theft situation. MyIDCare team members continue to keep your case on file for three years after any reported identity theft case. Insurance: Users have the confidence in knowing that the company provides up to $1 million in reimbursement insurance. Company representatives discuss this further if you need reimbursement services. Customer service: There is no 24/7 customer service at MyIDCare. Contact the company by phone Monday through Friday from 6 am to 6 pm. You can also send an email to MyIDCare. The website lists both the telephone number and email address. Cost: There are two plans through this company. The MyIDCare Essentials Plan, offered at $9.95 per month, provides single bureau monitoring and many of the same features as the other plan, the MyIDCare Premier Plan, which costs $19.95 per month. The premier plan features tri-bureau monitoring and instant inquiry alerts, not provided in the MyIDCare Essentials Plan.
Free trial: There is no free trial information listed on the site.
#9. AllClear ID
About: AllClear ID offers a variety of services, including identity theft monitoring, fraud alerts with credit monitoring and AllClear Identity Repair services. The company stresses that its identity repair services are the most important offered service.
AllClear ID provides automatic access to identity repair for all eligible customers. Eligible customers are individuals that receive a notice from a company they do business with that their personal information has potentially been compromised by a data breach.
What it monitors: AllClear ID monitors and conducts a proactive search of your credit and public records for any additional identity theft occurrences. The company conducts a ‘360 identity scan’ that helps discover whether you are a victim of any type of fraud. Alerts: AllClear ID monitors and conducts a proactive search of your credit and public records for any additional identity theft occurrences. The company conducts a ‘360 identity scan’ that helps discover whether you are a victim of any type of fraud. Recovery services: The company that experienced the data breach sponsors services with AllClear ID. Eligible individuals receive personalized service from a representative that helps recover your financial losses and repairs your credit report. Insurance: There is up to $1 million identity theft insurance provided that helps provide reimbursement for some fees, lost wages and fraud losses related to the identity recovery.
Customer service: Follow the information in the data breach letter you received from the company that experienced the data breach. If you believe you are possibly eligible for monitoring and recovery services from AllClear ID, call the phone number on the site from 8 am to 8 pm Central time. Cost: There is no cost for eligible individuals, families receiving monitoring, or identity recovery services from this company. Consumers receive sponsored services from the company that experienced the data breach. Free trial: There are no costs to the individual or family and therefore no need for free trial services.
#10. Intelius Identity Protect
About: Intelius Identity Protect helps keep you safe with regular monitoring and access to 24/7 identity fraud resolution experts. What it monitors: Credit reports and public records (which records are not clear from the site.) Alerts: Intelius Identity Protect sends an email alert whenever a covered individual experiences an incident of potential fraud. The company also provides easy access to fraud resolution experts. Recovery services: You have 24/7 access to identity fraud resolution experts and an identity recover kit (not clear from the site how much of this is DIY and how much they do for you.) Insurance: Up to $1 million depending on your plan and circumstances. Customer service: There is 24/7 customer service access available to users. This service provides convenient access to the highly-trained fraud resolution experts at Intelius Identity Protect. Cost: When your seven-day free trial expires, Intelius Identity Protect automatically bills your credit card on file for the monthly membership fee of $19.95 per month if you do not cancel within the seven-day free trial.
After the first billing, the company automatically bills your credit card the monthly fee every month on approximately the same date. The monthly cost does not include any taxes that are potentially applicable with your membership.
Free trial: 7-day free trial available
With identity theft on the rise, it only makes sense to sign up for an identity theft protection service. We recommend choosing one that covers all three credit bureaus, and deals with sorting out any issues on your behalf, to cut down on stress and paperwork.
No service can prevent all identity fraud, but you can make sure any problems are found and dealt with as quickly as possible, giving you extra peace of mind.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here