questionsdoes anyone use an anti-identity theft service?

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I recommend STRONGLY against these, and especially Lifelock. The tool that heads up that company has had his identity stolen so many times (due to his moronic commercials) that I quit keeping track. It's not something they publicize of course.

He can afford that. Most people can't.

In the middle of an online auction, which is lucky for you, because it means I'll be brief.

I've posted here (and others have, also) about how to keep safe (such as never EVER using your debit card as a credit card, or writing a check to anyone you don't know well). Identity theft is a serious problem, but those companies are merely taking advantage of concerned consumers.

Oops, stuff I care about coming up...

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@shrdlu: I'm in full agreement with all your points. My credit-union employer has a blanket contract with a company that assists any of our members who have experienced an ID theft by doing most of the legwork involved in contacting credit bureaus and monitoring for further incursions, but they are primarily an after-the-fact service. True identity theft (where some stranger co-opts someone's actual identity is much less common than LifeLock and the popular media would have you think, and standard care and common sense will usually keep anyone out of trouble.

(Having your credit card cloned and used by strangers is not identify theft, no matter how the idiotic TV news people want to describe it.)

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I wouldn't recommend these services either...and I've had my debit and credit card number stolen as well.

I am concerned a little, but Visa offers zero liability, so I'm not held responsible for any of the charges anyways. Don't pay for something that's supposed to keep you "safe", when you have zero liability.

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if you don't plan to open any new lines of credit in the near future, freeze your credit. NO ONE can open any new accounts in your name until you unfreeze or "thaw" your credit.

need to buy a car on credit? thaw your credit the day before, and then call and freeze it again after you get approval for the loan.

as for "zero liability" from credit companies, technically that's correct, but the hundreds of hours you'll have to spend fixing things when your identity gets stolen is all on you. Also, unless you report the fraudulent activity in 90 days, that zero liability becomes 100% liability.

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My wife and I shred everything that could be traced back to us and I am VERY careful not to give out personal info. Still got bit once a couple of years ago. But everything came out in the end. Putz ordered some (d*d expensive) chicken and steaks from Omaha Meats but it got sent here. He got nothing but trouble and I got the meat free.

I get mail for my folks and younger brother all the time. Them I just toss in the recycles. It's not that I don't love my family, it's just that the three of them are dead. If some nitwit DOES set fraudulent accounts in their names, I can PROVE they didn't make the purchases. Normally you cannot prove a negative but in this case.

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Well I can't speak to lifelock, but I do use a program offered by wells fargo. I really like the fact that I get my credit report from all 3 bureaus every quarter, lets me know exactly what is going on with my credit. I'm sure that it is a huge money maker for WF but to me its worth it. Just my 2 cents.

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If I were to say no, would you try to steal my identity :P

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My company had some computers stolen a few years ago an paid for all the employees to have lifelock. This is when I became 'aware' of identity theft and what it IS and is NOT.
For the safty of your credit cards services like lifelock will do nothing. Thieves use a slew of ways to obtaining your card info from scanning it with card readers to hacking into merchant accounts. (as was the case with Kohl's and Homegoods a few years back.)
As long as you are 'safe' online with your info you really have nothing to worry about, the card issues will work to prevent the fraud.
I do monitor my own credit scores for a number of reasons, but if someone has 'stolen' my identity and they try to obtain credit, that is the place it will first show up. You can do this for free or a minimal fee though. Remember, if someone does steal your identity you want to know because they could amass tickets, or arrest warrants in your name as well as debt. The More You Know!!

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remember, you can get a free copy of you credit reports from all 3 agencies every year. Space them out, request one every 4 months, and it's pretty close to those services that sell them to you every few months.