Identity Theft Question?

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Identity Theft Frequently Asked Questions

About Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

It's the act of using someone's personal information (such as a name, address, account number, driver's license number, Social Security number, health insurance number) without that person's knowledge, and using the assumed identity to commit fraud or theft.

Is it serious? How many people become victims each year?

Yes, identity theft is a serious crime. It continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in America, with estimates of more than 9 million Americans having their identities stolen each year.

How can identity thieves get my information?

Identity thieves have become increasingly savvy at gaining access to people's personal information. Here are some sources thieves employ:

Common sources:
  • Hacking into a bank, credit union or credit card company's database*
  • Phishing - when a scammer sends an e-mail that appears to come from your bank or another legitimate company, asking you for personal information such as your credit card or Social Security number
  • Bank statement - even from your kids' school bank program
  • Credit card statements
  • Restaurants and bars where you swipe your credit and debit cards
  • Department stores
  • ATM machines
  • Dumpster diving - the act of going into people's garbage for junk mail, bank statements or other material that may contain personal information
Other sources that don't easily come to mind:
  • Data breach from an elementary, middle or high school or university via stolen laptops Doctor's offices or medical insurance companies where your Social Security number may be stored or used as a policy number
  • Your kids' immunization records
  • Hospital where you gave birth since the application for your new baby's Social Security number is filled out at the hospital.
  • County Recorder's office where your house deed is registered and recorded
  • County Municipal Hall where you file and get the official marriage certificate, birth certificate, and death certificate. These certificates have your entire family's address, SSN, DOB, DOD, telephone number and other personal details.
  • Car dealerships where you bought your present and past cars. They usually attach your latest credit report and score to your purchase document.
  • Social Security Administration
  • Veterans Administration, its affiliates and hospitals. They not only have information on military personnel but also on the families and beneficiaries of the veterans.
  • Previous Employers - They have your SSN, your past and present names (aka maiden name), past and future addresses, your old W2s, 401K and beneficiary forms, etc.
  • Frequent flyer clubs
  • Grocery store clubs
  • Library cards
  • Pay day check cashing outlets
  • Sports associations
  • Passport centers
  • Human Resource departments of companies where you've applied for employment.
*Javelin Study, 2006

What do thieves do with stolen information?

Once they have your personal information, identity thieves use it in a variety of ways:

  • Credit card fraud:
    • They may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report
    • They may change the billing address on your credit card so that you no longer receive bills, and then run up charges on your account. Because your bills are now sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem
    • They may steal a pre-approved credit card application out of your mailbox, fill it out with a change of address (usually directing it to a vacant house) where they will obtain the card and begin charging on it - sticking you with the charges
  • Phone or utilities fraud:
    • They may open a new phone or wireless account in your name, or run up charges on your existing account
    • They may use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating, or cable TV
  • Bank/finance fraud:
    • They may create counterfeit checks using your name or account number
    • They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks
    • They may steal your bank checks out of your mailbox and use them fraudulently
    • They may clone your ATM or debit card and make electronic withdrawals in your name, draining your accounts
    • They may take out a loan in your name
  • Medical fraud:
    • One of the most common forms of medical identity theft is using someone else's medical insurance card to obtain medical services, or money by falsifying claims for medical services and falsifying medical records to support those claims.
  • Government documents/Benefits fraud:
    • They may get a driver's license or official ID card issued in your name but with their picture on it
    • They may use your name and Social Security number to get government benefits
    • They may file a fraudulent tax return using your information
  • Other fraud:
    • They may get a job using your Social Security number.
    • They may rent a house or get medical services using your name.

Often, the personal information is used to get loans or open credit-card accounts. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn't make-or until you've been contacted by a debt collector or collection agency. Additionally, they may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.

Aside from the expense and personal time required to resolve an identity theft, some victims who have had their identity stolen have lost job opportunities, been denied loans and housing, have had to pay higher deposits for utilities or cellular telephone contracts, and been left with destroyed credit and reputations.

What are the various types of identity theft crimes?

According to the FTC, the breakdown is as follows:

  • 15% involve fraudulent credit card activity
  • 14% involve telephone and utilities fraud
  • 10% involve bank fraud
  • 22% involve "other" identity theft crimes, such as medical identity fraud, child support issues and evasion from law enforcement
  • 11% involve employment-related fraud
  • 19% involve government documents or benefits fraud (fraudulent tax return or Social Security)
  • 4% involve some type of loan fraud

Source: FTC, Executive Summary: Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data, January - March 2011

How much does it cost to repair an identity theft?

While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others may spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of personal time repairing damage to their good name and credit record.

Occasionally, some victims have recurring problems. That is, the identity thief may try to strike again. To stay on top of the situation, continue to monitor your credit reports and read your financial account statements promptly and carefully. You may want to review your credit reports once every three months in the first year of the theft, and once or twice a year thereafter.

How does a thief steal a person's information?

Unfortunately, identity thieves steal their data from a variety of sources:

  • They may remove mail from your trash - such as a pre-approved credit card application
  • If you don't shred your sensitive financial information, they may remove your credit card statements, bank statements, driver's license information, tax information, stock or 401K information from your trash. Once you put your trash can out on the street, it becomes public information
  • Thieves working in restaurants and bars may swipe your credit card information (name, account number, expiration date, etc.) using a special storage device when processing your card
  • You may receive an email or pop-up message that resembles a bank or credit card company - asking you to "verify" your personal information and send it back to them

Are businesses at risk of identity theft?

Yes. Identity thieves may steal records or personal information from customers at a business (or, in the case of medical fraud, patients). Thieves may hack (gain illegal access) into the company's computer system or bribe an employee who has access to these records.

A business could also become victim of a data breach - the unauthorized disclosure of information that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of personally identifiable information. In fact, one of the most common data breach events involves a lost or stolen laptop computer that contains sensitive customer (or patient) information.

If identity theft is such a big problem, what is the government doing to stop it?

The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, enacted by Congress in October 1998 (and codified, in part, at 18 U.S.C. §1028) makes identity theft a federal crime. Recently, the federal government's Identity Task Force outlined several pieces of legislation to curtail identity theft. This legislation includes the deletion of personal information on federal documents shown online, as well as protocol for the handling, distribution and procurement of sensitive information.

However, the government can only do so much, and many times, is slow to respond. That's why it's important for you to take proactive steps now to protect you and your family from fraud and identity theft. Know that monitoring your family's personal credit information is one of the best - and most affordable - early detection systems.

My Credit Report

How do I get my online Experian® Credit Report?

You can get your online Experian Credit Report right here at ProtectMyID.com when you sign up. Simply fill out your information for identification purposes, answer a few questions and your credit report will be available to you online, in seconds, once your identity has been confirmed.

Your Username and Password will enable you to view your credit report for 30 days over the Internet in the most secure environment we can provide.

Why should I get my online Experian Credit Report?

To stay on top of your credit, it's a good idea to check your credit report on a regular basis. Here are some of the top reasons why you should request your online credit report today:

  • Make sure your information is accurate and ready to be reviewed by lenders, landlords, or employers.
  • To look for potential signs of Identity Theft so you can take immediate action and stop fraud in its tracks.

Why is there a charge for $1 on my credit card?

If you are signing up for a trial offer, you will be asked for valid credit card information. Your credit card will be charged a non-refundable $1.00 fee plus any applicable sales tax, for your credit report. However, we will not bill you for your monthly or annual membership fee until your free trial has ended.

Do I have to pay sales tax?

That depends on the state in which you reside. Certain orders may be subject to sales tax based on specific laws in your state of residence. Sales tax may be included on membership orders and any additional reports and scores that you purchase, such as a Three Bureau Report and Scores.

The address you provide during the order process is used to determine whether sales tax applies to your order(s) and if so, at what rate. Since sales tax rates may change over time, you might notice minor fluctuations in the membership fee.

Keeping your address up-to-date in our system will help ensure the sales tax is calculated accurately during each billing cycle. You can easily update your address information anytime from the Personal Information page. You may also contact our Customer Care Team at 1-866-960-6943 for address changes

Which credit reporting company's credit report do I receive?

ProtectMyID.com provides you an Experian® Credit Report.

How long will my online credit report be available?

Your report is available online for 30 days. It's a good idea to print a copy for your records when you first view it.

Why am I not eligible for another free trial membership?

Your free ProtectMyID trial membership is a promotional offer for first-time customers only.

Why didn't I get my online credit report?

Although we usually deliver online credit reports to our customers within seconds, there are some instances in which we are prohibited from doing so. These include:

  • When we are not able to verify your identity. For your security, we only deliver your credit report when you pass our online identity verification process.
  • When we are experiencing a technical issue.
  • When the credit reporting company does not return a credit report. Sometimes the credit reporting company does not have enough information to create a credit report for you.

I've already received my included online credit report from ProtectMyID.com. How can I get another copy of my online credit report?

If you would like to receive another copy of your online credit report, please click here to order or select one of our other credit products. You may also request a free statutory credit file disclosure from each of the national credit reporting companies through a Central Source once per year. Click here for more information.

Isn't everyone entitled to one free credit report annually?

Yes. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting companies once per year through a Central Source. To obtain that free report, you must go to www.annualcreditreport.com.

In addition, consumers also have the right to a free credit file disclosure directly from the credit reporting companies if (paraphrased) they are:

  • the recipient of an adverse action (for example, denial of credit) due to information contained in their credit file;
  • are unemployed;
  • are a recipient of public welfare assistance;
  • have inaccuracies in their credit file due to fraud.

For more information, please see the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

FACTA

What is the FACT Act?

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting companies once every 12 months through a Central Source.

Will everyone be able to get their free statutory annual credit file disclosure at the same time?

Consumers will be able to get their statutory annual credit file disclosure beginning Dec. 1, 2004.

How can I request my free statutory annual credit file disclosure?

The FACT Act required that the national credit reporting companies establish a central source though which you will request the statutory free annual credit file disclosures. To obtain that free report, you must go to www.annualcreditreport.com.

Which credit reporting company's free statutory annual credit file disclosure do I receive?

You are entitled to receive your free statutory annual credit file disclosure from each of the three national credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Remember, your request must be placed through the Central Source.

How often can I get a free credit file disclosure?

The FACT Act entitles consumers to get one free statutory credit file disclosure from each of the three national credit reporting companies once per year. Because of state law, residents of Georgia can receive two free credit reports per year.

ProtectMyID.com Identity Theft Protection

How do I get my Experian® Credit Report and monitoring alerts?

Your ProtectMyID.com membership includes one Experian Credit Report. Your credit report will be available online, in seconds, once your identity has been verified. You can also purchase additional Experian credit products at your convenience online and as a member, receive special members-only offers.

As a ProtectMyID.com member, you will also receive credit monitoring. When changes are detected, you will receive an email and, if you choose, SMS Mobile Text messaging alerts. Mail delivery of alerts is also available. Requests for mail delivery is only available by calling us when you initially order your membership.

How do I enroll for SMS Text Messaging alerts?

Alerts are always sent through email. As a member, you also have the option to receive alerts via SMS Mobile Text messaging. There are two alert emails that are also available may receive through SMS Mobile Text Messaging:

  1. Monitoring Alert -- This will inform you when a key change is detected on any of your three national credit reports.
  2. Monthly All Clear Alert -- This will inform you when no key changes have been posted to any of your three national credit reports in the past month.

To begin receiving SMS Text Messaging alerts, simply log in to ProtectMyID.com and click on “Edit Profile,” then click on Alert Settings. You are able to set up, modify, or cancel text message alerts from the Alert Settings page for no additional cost.

If you need help with alerts text messaging, simply text HELP to the short code you are enrolled in from your mobile device. To stop receiving text message alerts, simply text STOP to the short code you are enrolled in from your mobile device, or opt-out from the Alerts Settings page. Be advised, STANDARD AND MESSAGING DATA RATES MAY APPLY.

How do I cancel my membership?

If for any reason you are not satisfied, you can cancel anytime to discontinue your membership to ProtectMyID.com and stop your monthly/annual billing. However, you will not be eligible for a prorated refund of any portion of your current monthly/annual paid membership fee. To cancel, please contact Customer Care at 1-866-960-6943 or support@protectmyid.com.

What if I see something on my Experian Credit Report that requires me to contact my creditors?

Your Experian credit report contains creditor contact information, specifically phone number and address. If you ever need to contact your creditors directly, the information is at your fingertips in the Account History section of your Experian credit report.

How do I change the information on my report?

Items in your Report will not be changed unless the information is proven to be inaccurate. If you find an item you deem inaccurate, you may initiate the dispute process that could result in updated information. To access online disputes with Experian, go to a current online copy of your credit report and click on the "Dispute Information" button located at the top of the page. If you do not have a current copy of your credit report, you can choose to purchase a new credit report.

Your Experian credit report contains creditor contact information, specifically phone number and address. If you ever need to contact your creditors directly, the information is at your fingertips in the Account History section of your Experian credit report.

What is the Money Back Guarantee?

ProtectMyID.com's 14-day Money Back Guarantee is not related to the $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance coverage. At ProtectMyID.com we are committed to providing the highest quality product and assistance to our members. If you are not completely satisfied, call us at 1-866-960-6943 within 14 days of enrolling in our product and we will refund your membership fee, which is the amount billed to your account every month or year.

Our money back guarantee is available to first time ProtectMyID.com members. Please note that certain taxes may not be refundable. The Money Back Guarantee does not include one-time purchases the member may make upon enrollment. For example, the 3-Bureau Credit Report and PLUS Scores, Experian Credit Report and PLUS Score, and Experian PLUS Score is not included within the Money Back Guarantee.

What is the $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance coverage?

Information regarding the $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance coverage can be found by clicking here.

Credit Monitoring Alerts

What are credit monitoring alerts?

Your Experian credit report is monitored daily to see if key information has changed or if new data has been added. You will receive a monitoring alert if essential information has changed on your report. That way, you can identify fraudulent activity early in cases where credit activity is unfamiliar or unauthorized.

A Monthly "All Clear" email will be sent when no key changes have been posted to any of your three national credit reports in the past month.

When will I receive my first credit monitoring alert(s)?

If you are a new member, please note that it may take up to five to seven days from the date you ordered to be enrolled in the daily monitoring system.

Which credit reporting company's credit report does ProtectMyID monitor?

ProtectMyID.com monitors your national credit report from Experian. You will be notified of several important changes to any of your credit reports with email and, if you choose, SMS Mobile Text messaging alerts. You'll know about new derogatory information, recent inquiries into your credit, and several indicators of possible Identity Theft.

What if I receive a credit monitoring alert regarding an issue with my creditors?

Certain credit monitoring alerts also contain creditor contact information, in case you need to resolve any issues with them. You can contact the appropriate creditor directly using this information. If you suspect identity theft please contact us immediately so we can help you take steps to resolve this.

 Internet Scan Alerts

What are internet scan alerts?

Every day, thousands of pieces of personal information such as Social Security Numbers and credit/debit cards are sold over the internet for fraudulent use. That's why adding your Social Security Number and/or credit/debit cards for scanning is so important. Once you have added your Social Security Number and/or credit/debit cards, we will scan the internet daily including many suspected criminal chat rooms where trading and selling of personal information takes place. If we detect your social security number or credit/debit card, you will receive an alert so we can help you take immediate action.

What do I do if I receive an internet scan alert?

An internet scan alert indicates that we have found either your Social Security Number or credit/debit card on the internet. This may not necessarily mean identity theft has occurred, but it is a sign of potential identity theft. If you receive an internet scan alert, please contact us immediately so we can help you take appropriate steps to further protect your identity and identify if you are at risk.

How do I select my Social Security Number and/or add Credit/Debit cards for internet scanning?

To select your Social Security Number and/or add Credit Debit Cards, log in to ProtectMyID.com, click on "Edit Profile," and then click on "Internet Scan." You may add your Social Security Number and up to 3 Credit/Debit cards.

Can I add more than 3 Credit/Debit cards?

No, you can add up to 3 Credit/Debit cards for internet scanning.

Will you tell me the website or internet chat room where my Social Security Number or Credit/Debit card was found?

Because criminal websites and chat rooms constantly move from place to place on the internet, we will not be able to provide you the web address where your information was found. Also, certain websites are not accessible by the general public. If your information is found, we will alert you so that we can help you take immediate action.

Change of Address Alerts

What are Change of Address Alerts?

Change of address alerts are provided when a new address has been reported by a creditor/lending institution to the Experian credit bureau. Once a change of address is detected, we will notify you with an alert.

Disclaimer: NCOALink® processing is performed by a non-exclusive licensee of the United States Postal Service®. The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service: NCOALink® and United States Postal Service. The prices are not established or regulated by the United States Postal Service or the US Government.
Experian AD 4.09

What do I do if I receive a change of address alert but didn't change my address?

If you receive a change of address alert and you did not move or update your address, please contact us immediately so we can help you take appropriate steps to further protect your identity and identify if you are at risk. Thieves often change address information as the first step towards stealing an identity.

ChildSecureSM

What is ChildSecure?

ChildSecure helps you protect your children from identity theft by closely monitoring your enrolled children's credit information, and alerting you if someone applies for credit or opens credit accounts using your children's personal information. One low price allows you to enroll all of your minor children. You may enroll all of your minor children for the same low price.

Why does my child have a credit history?

There are several legitimate reasons for your child to have a credit history. Some banks and credit card companies allow parents to add children to their credit cards. Your child might have a credit history if he or she is listed as an authorized user on your account. Similarly, some financial institutions (banks) allow minors to obtain checking accounts.

Why can't I see my child's information online?

We take you and your children's privacy and security seriously. That's why we insist upon verifying your identity before we show you any of your children's personal information such as Credit Reports. Because there is no definite way for you to prove that you are the parent or guardian of your child online, we require you to fax documentation to us as proof. Once we have received this information and verified that you are the parent or guardian, you will be able to obtain a hard copy of your child's information in the mail. That way, no else can access your child's information

If I can obtain this information about my child's files, can't other people also obtain this information?

No. That is why you cannot view your child's information online. You must first fax in documents proving that you are the parent or legal guardian before we will send your child's credit files.

If I enroll my child, what will you do with my child's information?

When you enroll your children, we use their information to monitor their credit information. We are unable to monitor your children's personal information until you provide us with their first and last names, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers. This information is required to verify their identities. Your children's information is safe with us, and will be used to verify their identities, and so we may begin monitoring their personal information. To learn more, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Is my child entitled to a free Credit Report by law?

Yes. You will find instructions for requesting your child's free Credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. For security and privacy reasons, only parents or guardians may request a Credit Report on behalf of a minor child under 13 years of age. Please note that additional identification documentation must be provided to prove you are the child's parent or guardian. Instructions for completing these requests can be accessed through www.annualcreditreport.com.

Can I monitor my child without enrolling myself in this product?

No. You must be an active ProtectMyID.com member enrolled in ChildSecure to protect your children.

How can I reactivate a deactivated child?

Once you have deactivated your child from ChildSecure, you must contact our customer care team to reactivate that child. Simply call us at: 1-866-960-6943.

How will I be billed if I take advantage of ChildSecure Monitoring?

If you purchase ChildSecure Monitoring, you will be billed your regular membership fee plus the additional fee for ChildSecure on your next bill date.

Lost Wallet and Card Protection

What is Lost Wallet and Card Protection?

Lost Wallet and Card Protection protects your Credit, Charge, Debit, ATM and Medical cards in the event that they are lost, stolen or misused. You also have the option to register your cards with us so that you have them recorded in case you physically lose your wallet or purse.

Where may I add, edit, delete, or view my cards?

You may add, edit, delete, or view your added cards by logging in at ProtectMyID.com, clicking on "Edit Profile," and then "Lost Wallet."

What should I do if my wallet is stolen?

First, you should call our 24-hour Lost Wallet line 866.227.3718 to report the issue immediately. During weekday business hours, a dedicated Identity Theft Resolution Agent will help you notify the issuers of your debit, credit and medical insurance cards so you can receive new cards and minimize your risk of fraud. Click here for steps you can take now to make a lost wallet or stolen wallet less damaging to your identity and for additional advice on handling the situation. Also, if you find that you have your cards but someone has used your account fraudulently without your authorization, please call us immediately.

How do I contact an Identity Theft Resolution Professional if I am in a foreign country?

If your credit cards are lost or stolen while you are in a foreign country, you may place an international collect call to: 479.573.7316 to speak with an Identity Theft Resolution Professional who will begin the process of cancelling your cards.

Do laws limit my responsibility for unauthorized charges?

Under Federal law, your responsibility for unauthorized charges is generally limited to $50 per Credit Card and up to $500 per ATM or Debit card. The amount for which your card issuer holds you liable will depend on how quickly you report your lost or stolen cards to your card issuer. If our product fails and your card issuer holds you liable for unauthorized charges made after you report your missing cards to us, we will guarantee you reimbursement for those charges. To view the terms and conditions of the Guarantee, click here.

3 Bureau Credit Report

How is a 3 Bureau Credit Report different from a single-bureau credit report?

The 3-bureau report includes your credit reports from all three national credit reporting companies - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. A single-bureau report contains your information on file at one of those three credit reporting companies.

Why is my credit information and score different among the three credit reporting companies?

When creditors report information to the credit reporting companies, they can choose to which company(ies) they want to report. Some report to only one, whereas many report to all three. When a creditor chooses only to report to one or two of the credit reporting companies, the remaining company(ies) will not have access to, and therefore will not include, that account information in your report.

For that reason, your credit scores may differ among your reports.

Why is it important to check my credit report & credit score at all three credit reporting companies?

When creditors, landlords, and potential employers check your credit information, they can pull your credit report and credit score from any credit reporting company(ies). Some only check one credit reporting company; some check all three. By checking all three yourself, you'll be prepared no matter which company(ies) they check.

Where can I find out how to read my 3 Bureau Credit Report?

Please read the for the 3 Bureau Credit Report.

I wasn't able to receive my 3 Bureau Credit Report or the transaction failed. Was I charged?

No, we don't charge your credit card unless your 3 Bureau Credit Report is delivered. We will not charge your card if:

(a) we are unable to process your request;
(b) you do not pass our authentication process;
(c) any of the three national credit reporting company systems are down.

Please note that when you complete the order process, your credit card may be authorized for a charge, but that does not mean that it has been charged.

Why didn't I get my online credit report?

Although we usually deliver online credit reports to our customers within seconds, there are some instances that prohibit us from doing so. These include:

  • When we are not able to verify your identity. For your security, we only deliver your credit report when you pass our online identity verification process.
  • When we are experiencing a technical issue.
  • When the credit reporting company does not return a credit report. Sometimes the credit reporting company does not have enough information to create a credit file for you.

Please note, that we don't charge your credit card until we deliver your credit report. If we are unable to process your request, we will not charge you.

How long will my 3 Bureau Credit Report be available?

Your report is available online for 30 days after it is delivered. It's a good idea to print a copy for your records when you first view it.

I wasn't able to receive my PLUS Credit Score. Was I charged?

No, we don't charge your credit card unless we can authenticate you and deliver your report. If we are unable to process your request, we will not charge you. Please note that when you complete our order process, your credit card may be authorized for a charge, but that does not mean that it has been charged.

How long will my online PLUS Credit Score and report be available?

Your report is available online for 30 days after it is delivered. It's a good idea to print a copy for your records when you first view it.

Where can I find out more about my PLUS Credit Score?

More information about your PLUS Score can be found here.

General Questions

Is this site secure?

Yes, the process of sending and receiving your information is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This technology helps ensure that your credit card and other sensitive information is protected. Preferred web browsers are: Netscape 6.05 or later, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, and AOL 8.0 or later.

Our company has rigorous security screening processes set up by ICSA and the credit reporting agencies, and we have also partnered with VeriSign, Inc.

What will happen to the information I enter?

The information that you provide is used to verify your identity and remains in our system. Additionally, you are only able to view your report for 30 days. (The credit reporting companies will always keep your record, of course). We do not resell or provide your credit information to any third-party marketers. Please see our Privacy Policy for full details about how we protect the information you submit to us.

Will ordering my credit report hurt my score?

Anytime your credit report is pulled - including when you order a copy of your credit report directly from the credit reporting company - an inquiry is added to your report. Only some of those inquiries appear to creditors and therefore impact your credit score. Inquiries that were made for credit cards or loans for which you applied will be shown to creditors. Inquiries added when you request a copy of your credit report or when an employer checks your credit report do not appear to creditors. We are pulling your credit report on your behalf, so the inquiry on your credit report will not be shown to creditors and will not affect your credit score.

However, ALL inquiries will be displayed on copies of your credit file disclosure that you order directly from the credit reporting companies' consumer assistance centers. This is done so you know who has been looking at your credit. Some inquiries on your report are accompanied by a description of why the report was pulled.

I don't have a credit card. Can I still purchase an online credit report?

Currently, we only accept credit card payments. Our system is not set up to accept checks or cash at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

What is the refund policy if the transaction fails?

We don't charge your card unless you get your credit report or you complete the request. If we are unable to process your request, we will not charge your card. Please note that when you complete the order process, your credit card may be authorized for a charge, but that does not mean that it has been charged.

Where is my report?

You may view the status of your orders by logging into ProtectMyID.com

Will my spouse's name and information appear on my report?

The credit reporting companies maintain credit files on individual U.S. residents only. They do not maintain joint files for spouses. Only accounts that are in both your names or those for which you are an authorized user will show up on your report. Therefore, your credit report is separate and different from your spouse's.

How do I dispute possible inaccuracies on my credit report?

Experian® wants your credit information to be as accurate as possible. If you have reviewed your credit report and believe that the information is inaccurate, you can dispute it online for the fastest resolution. To access online disputes with Experian, go to a current online copy of your credit report and click on the "Dispute Information" button located at the top of the page.

To request an investigation into information you don't agree with on your Equifax or TransUnion credit report, you should write directly to the credit reporting company that supplied the information. For details, please see the Dispute Information page located in the My Credit Center area.

Your Experian credit report contains creditor contact information, specifically phone number and address. If you ever need to contact your creditors directly, the information is at your fingertips in the Account History section of your Experian credit report.

Can I order someone else's report?

No. Under federal law, any person who knowingly and willfully obtains information on a consumer from a credit reporting company under false pretenses (for example, getting a credit report on an individual without his/her permission) shall be fined under Title 18 United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

What are my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of the information in the files of credit reporting companies. Please click here for the summary of your major rights under the FCRA.

What if I forget my Username and Password?

If you have forgotten your username or password, click "Forgot your password" at the customer login page. Enter your full name, last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, and date of birth, and click "Submit". You will then be prompted to enter your mother's maiden name, and answer the question you chose as your "Reminder Phrase." If you answer correctly, you will be prompted to change your password.

What is your authentication process and what happens if I don't get authenticated instantly?

Generally, we can authenticate you online immediately after you place an order. If you order a product that is delivered instantly, and we are unable to verify your identity online, you have the option of going through further verification. We then deliver you a private access code via U.S. mail within five to seven days, which provides you full access to your report online. For your protection, if we are still unable to verify your identity, you will be referred to Customer Care. If you submit the required information, you are agreeing to purchase the report. Once your information is received, your identity will be manually verified. You will receive an email confirming the outcome within three business days. If your information is verified, your login information also will be provided in this email. You can then login at the site to view your report, which will be available online for 30 days.