|The Florida Bar - ID Theft Assist Frequently Asked Questions|
Q. What is ID Theft Assist?
A. ID Theft Assist is a service that saves an identity theft victim time, effort and costs in restoring credit and repairing the damage caused by an identity theft.
Q. What is the definition of identity theft?
A. For the purpose of ID Theft Assist, the definition is any event where a subscriber’s identity is compromised. It could be as simple as replacing a lost credit card for a victim, and it could be as complicated as full restoration of a victim’s identity and credit history.
Q. My wallet has been stolen. What do I do?
A. As a subscriber to the service, you would call our 24/7 emergency call center. We would access your credit history, capture all the needed information, review it with you to ensure no false accounts have been opened, and begin the process of canceling/reissuing your credit cards and any other items that were included in your wallet.
Q. How are you able to access my credit history?
A. Through your authorization. The first step after a subscriber’s call is to obtain written authorization from the subscriber to access his or her credit history. ID Theft Assist cannot proceed without this authorization. We have all the tools necessary to assist as much as the subscriber authorizes.
Q. Are there other services?
A. Absolutely, depending on the depth of the identity theft. ID Theft Assist is there to provide assistance to the highest initial levels of identity theft. We can provide as much assistance as you need. Our steps in restoring your identity may include notification to creditor fraud departments and the three major credit-reporting agencies; completion of the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Affidavit; legal counseling and assistance; and emotional counseling.
Q. Are there any restrictions to the service?
A. A few, mostly on the subject of obtaining new identification. We cannot obtain a new driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, or any other form of identification for the subscriber. However, we make the process as easy and quick as possible by having the necessary forms on file and can even fill out part of those forms on behalf of the subscriber.
Q. Do I receive any compensation if my identity is stolen?
A. No, ID Theft Assist is a service, not an insurance policy. There are insurance policies that will offer monetary benefits for a stolen identity. The meat of many of those policies is compensation for lost wages, but those benefits are capped. We save you the time so work does not have to be missed, and we have no cap on the amount of time we will spend in restoring your identity.
Q. How much time does ID Theft Assist really save?
A. In cases where a fraudulent account have been opened in your name, the Federal Trade Commission reports that, on average, a victim will spend 175 hours repairing the damage of the theft. Even in the simplest of cases, a subscriber would be making one phone call to us instead of three or four.
Q. What if the theft occurs when I am traveling?
A. ID Theft Assist can service our subscribers worldwide. We have 33 assistance centers and over 200 agents around the world. We even have the ability to wire cash advances, charged against a credit card, in emergencies.
Q. Will there be any trouble in removing fraudulent accounts from my record?
A. There could be, but in those cases our Fraud Resolution Specialists would take over your case. These are highly trained, legal professionals with one or more of the following credentials: licensed attorney, practitioner with Master’s level or certification in Dispute Resolution or Fair Debt Credit Practices, experience in prosecuting criminal acts or over five year’s other relevant legal experience. Once again, we would be the ones doing the work and saving you the time and effort.
Q. Are there legal ramifications to an identity theft?
A. Yes, there can be. There are many stories of innocent victims who are arrested because their stolen identity was used in the commission of a crime. ID Theft Assist offers subscribers one free initial consultation with its nationwide network of attorneys. If more legal assistance was needed, the subscriber would receive a 25% discount on our network attorneys' fees
Q. What about any psychological effects of identity theft?
A. As part of the service, subscribers have 24/7 unlimited access to Master’s-level consultants to help alleviate any stress and anxiety caused by an identity theft. If the emotional trauma persists, subscribers can access our national network of Behavioral Specialists for up to three in-person sessions.
Q. Is ID Theft Assist a necessary service?
A. A Celent Communication report states that identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime in the country and complaints to the FTC rose 73% from 2001 to 2002. In 1992, one of the major credit reporting agencies received 35,000 calls from those victimized or concerned about being a victim. Ten years later the number of calls was over one million. You decide.
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