Financial fraud has increased substantially over the last half a decade.
Increased use of smartphones and internet penetration have seen more consumers opt for digital banking.
Factors such as speed and convenience have led to increasing dependence on online financial transactions. As a result, credit card fraud has been on the rise.
The growth of the identity theft protection services market has been attributed to increased adoption of online payments together with related frauds.
The e-commerce sector is thriving.
As a result, online payments have spiraled in growth over the years. With growth of e-commerce services and increasing penetration of the internet worldwide, identity theft continues to occur. This drives the market’s general growth.
Governments have taken measures to protect people from identity theft.
For instance, the United States created the BuySecure initiative to act as a task force against identity theft in the nation.
Similarly, Europe experiences fraudulent activities in large numbers in the following ways:
- Phishing activities that trick people to steal their personal information
- Stealing of postal mails
- Malicious software activities
The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) was created as an EU agency to fight identity theft in various European countries. It fosters the functioning of network and information security to protect the data and identity of EU citizens.
Identity Theft Continues to Rise
Fraud has increased and continues to do so with records of 15 to 20 billion cases of stolen identities over the last half a decade. The situation continues to worsen.
This has more consumers opting for identity protection services.
According to a Javelin Strategy & Research report published in 2018, over 14.4 million Americans have been victims of identity fraud.
Moreover, the Consumer Sentinel Network under the Federal Trade Commission reported that identity fraud rose by 19.8% in the previous year. According to the 2017 FTC report, identity theft occurs mainly in the following ways:
- Tax-related fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Bank fraud
- Utilities fraud
- Phone fraud
- Medical ID theft
- Smartphone account information fraud
With your smartphone account information, a fraudster can call your financial institution to make a password reset request.
Upon receiving a two-factor identification code to your smartphone, the fraudster gets access to your bank account. This gives the criminal control over your account just as you do.
4 Major Identity Theft Protection Solutions that Have Been Patented
LifeLock provides a detailed suite of digital security tools for protection from identity theft, including other security services.
Pros of LifeLock
- Provides a 60-day money back guarantee on yearly plans
- Offers Norton 360 protection for computers and other devices
- Family plans cost an additional $5.99 for each child
- More costly plans than other solutions on the market
Available plans with Norton 360 include:
- Advantage – funds reimbursements and identity theft monitoring
- Ultimate Plus – detailed plan with unlimited personal device security, three bureau credit monitoring and reporting, and reimbursement for expenses and stolen funds.
- Identity Guard
Based on IBM’s Watson computer system, Identity Guard scans the World Wide Web to offer you safe tools for browsing the internet. It offers protection from online banking, shopping and payments related frauds.
It features an anti-phishing mobile app to protect your smartphone from identity theft.
Pros of Identity Theft
- Offers safe tools for browsing when banking, shopping or making payments online.
- AI scans millions of social media posts and articles daily to detect potential threats.
- Offers credit reports annually
- Doesn’t offer a particular computer tool package
Available plans include
- Value – offers basic identity theft protection, alerts, $1 million insurance for reimbursements and a dedicated case manager in the U.S.
- Total – alerts, monthly credit score and three-bureau credit monitoring.
- Premier – offers social media monitoring and three-bureau credit reports.
Opt for LifeLock if you’re looking for options targeting your devices and computers for protection from identity theft. However, Identity Guard focuses mainly on offering plenty of ways to access online fraud protection against identity theft when doing online transactions.
- ID Watchdog
The ID Watchdog solution also fights identity theft. It’s patented for offering three-bureau reporting at a cost of $19.95. Other family plans also available include:
- ID Watchdog Plus – alerts, Equifax credit monitoring and basic identity protection services.
- ID Watchdog Platinum – offers three-bureau credit scores and monitoring and credit reports.
Pros of ID Watchdog
- Customized identity monitoring is offered under the Platinum plan at $19.95.
- Trained specialists offer support to members who’ve been victims of identity theft.
- Subscriptions lack security tools for computers.
- Offers no money-back guarantee or free trials
4.) Identity Force
Identity Force offers various security services aimed at identity theft protection. They include:
- Cyber-fraud protection
- Medical ID fraud
- Two-factor authentication fraud
Pros of Identity Fraud
- Basic plan includes social media identity monitoring
- Offers extensive protections and a junk mail opt-out
- A credit score simulator is available under the UltraSecure+Credit plan
- Has only two plans
- Provides no refund for cancelled services
Available plans include:
- UltraSecure with up to two months free on annual plans
- UltraSecure+Credit with credit scores and reports, three-bureau credit monitoring, and a credit score simulator and tracker.
The family plan covers two adults and offers unlimited protection for children under 26 years living in the same household. It features a ChildWatch program for protection against children’s identity theft.
The program is available under all plans and covers:
- Child identity monitoring.
- Alerts for unfamiliar alias, name or address linked to your kid’s social security number.
- $1 million insurance against identity theft.
- Social media identity monitoring.
- Fully-managed identity recovery services.
Patenting of the Solutions All these identity theft protection services have been patented to protect them from being copied by other companies. They all enjoy intellectual property rights protection.