Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Like the other credit bureaus, Equifax offers consumer subscription services designed to monitor and protect its users’ identities. Equifax offers two main identity theft products with overlapping protection: IDPatrol and Equifax Complete. However, while the two plans combined provide enough features to sufficiently protect your identity, neither plan can be considered comprehensive. In order to receive the same basic level of coverage offered by industry leaders, you would need to pay nearly twice the amount.
- Financial Alerts
- Lost Wallet Protection
- $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance
Equifax IDPatrol provides basic features that will help you take control of your credit report and online presence in general. In addition to a $1 million identity theft insurance policy and three-bureau credit monitoring, IDPatrol offers the following unique identity theft protection features for $16.95 a month:
- Automatic Fraud Alerts: Sends alerts every 90 days to each of the major credit monitoring bureaus any time someone attempts to access your credit report; if the request is suspicious, you can ask the bureaus to deny the request.
- Equifax WebDetect: Proactively scans underground internet trading sites for instances of your Social Security number and up to 10 credit or debit card numbers you provide
- ID Theft Resolution Specialist: 24/7 support to help walk you through recovering your stolen identity
- Identity Theft Insurance: Up to $1 million towards resolving your identity dispute (covers legal fees, etc.)
Equifax Complete, meanwhile, offers both individual ($19.95 a month) and family ($29.95 a month) options. Like IDPatrol, Equifax Complete offers three-bureau credit monitoring, automatic fraud alerts, and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy.
Equifax also provides its Equifax Complete Advantage plan for $17.95 a month, which offers a less comprehensive version of its Complete plan (financial alerts for two accounts, and $25,000 identity theft insurance) for a less expensive monthly price.
The Equifax Complete family plan covers two adults and provides credit file monitoring services for up to four dependents. And while Equifax’s identity theft protection are not easily navigable online, and conflicting information still remains on the company’s website, Equfax’s customer support (particularly the live chat) can be extremely helpful. Customer service representatives can intelligently answer consumer questions, and provide helpful links to inform customers about product details.
- Limited Recovery Services
- Limited Insurance Information
- No Antivirus Software Included
One major problem with Equifax’s identity theft protection services is the number of products customers will need to purchase just to receive basic coverage. Customers could potentially spend nearly $50.00 each month on basic identity theft protection services, while the top identity theft protection companies offer comparable services for a fraction of that price.
Not only do these products overlap in all the wrong places, but customers are also required to reach out to a customer service representative just to find information on them. And what information that is provided is sparse at best. Customers do not gain full access to product details unless they subscribe, so details on lost wages coverage, insurance exclusions, and other crucial information is not readily available. Equifax offers nothing in terms of an analytical system that tracks your information in realtime, or antivirus protection that prevents your computer from being hacked by malware.
Equifax Complete is the only identity protection product which is offered by Equifax. The package includes credit monitoring, reports, scores and alerts for all three major credit bureaus, Social Security Number monitoring and alerts and assistance by a recovery specialist as the primary features. This plan is $19.95/month.
“1. Proof of Evidence
We reserve the right to request that You provide corroborating evidence with respect to any incident of Identity Theft of which We (Equifax) are notified.
Why it’s important:
The evidence that Equifax asks their identity theft victims to provide includes: law enforcement reports, Federal Trade Commission’s affidavit, government agency reports and any other related evidence. If the consumer fails to provide any of the needed evidence, Equifax has reserved the right not to provide their customer with their product’s benefits or features that is normally included in the product ordered.
“2. Identity Theft Insurance
Equifax’s $1 million identity theft insurance is provided by Chartis that has a $0 deductible. Insurance expenses that are covered include:
- Lost wages in the need of taking off work to restore identity (up to $1,000 per week for a maximum of four weeks)
- Attorney fees
- Application fees for re-filing loans
- Mailing and notary costs
- Long-distance phone calls
- Lost monies exclusive of interest and fees
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