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We have awarded Intelius our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 9 Identity Theft Protection Services. Read our review below to find out why...
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Intelius ID Protect is an Identity Theft Protection solution brought to the market by Intelius, a US firm that has grown out of the increased need for background checks and better personal data security. It offers both commercial and consumer solutions, and has grown into a multi-million dollar corporation. Most of the firm's income comes from staff background checks (which is the mainstay of its commercial arm), but the firm has recently started providing Identity Theft Protection (which it provides directly to the consumer market using Intelius ID Protect). Intelius,com offers a wide range of services to help protect your identity or to help you find out about someone else. It provides a range of background check services which can be useful in a variety of situations, whether you’re receiving unwanted calls or want to find out more about a prospective tenant before they move into your property.
The services available are very easy to access and come at a range of prices. The identity protection service is available at $19.95 per month (plus tax) and come with an instant credit score. The identity protect package also provides up to $1 million identity theft insurance and will allow you to access and monitor your public records for any unusual changes. The instant credit report and score allows you to find out who has been checking your credit reports, which may be of particular use if you feel that someone is monitoring your finances. You can also track your credit score and can receive alerts when there are signs of potential identity theft. The $1 million identity theft insurance is reassuring and also comes with a “recovery kit” (though it’s not exactly clear what such a kit involves).
If you’re more interested in finding out about someone else, or locating a particular document on a property, then Intelius also provides such information in abundance. If you pay for Intelius Premier then you can get unlimited premier reports and a 50% discount on criminal checks. This is particularly useful if you are likely to be performing a lot of checks, as opposed to a one-off. The premier reports include a full name, aliases, phone numbers, address history, age, relatives and email address.
This site allows you to search for people based on their name and location but you can also perform lookups based on email addresses and phone numbers. These are particularly useful if you’ve been receiving unwanted communications and want to find out who has been trying to contact you. This kind of information isn’t always on offer on competing sites, making intelius a potentially very useful resource. The site also browses government databases to collect a lot of its information, making it very accurate.
Intelius ID Protect provides all users with a free annual credit report, compiled in the (fairly commonplace) 3-in-1 format (combining the efforts of Experian, Equifax and Trans-Union). These reports not only give you a great indication of your credit rating and financial situation, but also help you to identify any anomalous transactions or applications that may be evidence of fraudulent activity. Next, Intelius ID Protect follows a familiar path by performing daily searches of public websites, trading websites and public records for the protected data of its members (e.g., SSN's, Name, Address, Credit Card Numbers etc.). Finally, you can opt out of junk mail registers and the pre-approved credit records, so that not only are you free from having to endure endless annoying offers of credit cards (and other financial products), but another avenue for credit fraud is closed down (as ID thieves often use fake credit offers to obtain identifying details). All of these methods ensure that users get advance notice of any potential fraud that could have a negative impact on their credit rating or financial security.
Given the nature of the kind of information being accessed, it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that the site has come under fire on occasion for alleged privacy violations. In fact this might be something that some customers are concerned with, since they may be attempting to protect their own identity, but the site also allows others to track the activities and personal information of individuals. It’s not for us to judge, but it’s something you may wish to consider.
Overall we felt that Intelius provided a well rounded service for a fair price. It’s easy to use and accurate, which is no bad thing, whilst also offering a wide range of reports and $1 million identity insurance. However we would like to see more in the way of the methods it uses for identity protection as the majority of services it provides are concerned with information gathering rather than information restriction.
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