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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Providing Answers and Protection for Over 50 Years





How do thieves get my information?

There are numerous ways that thieves can obtain personal identifiers. Some are by: 

  • Stealing physical items such as mail, wallet/purse, smart phone, trash, etc.
  • Stealing digital data as when a business computer system is breached, your computer is tainted with malware or a skimmer is placed on a payment card reader.
  • Gathering personal information from social networks and data aggregator websites.
  • Phishing schemes – tricks to get you to reveal information.
What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief to obtain goods, services, and/or employment; commit a crime; gain a benefit; or prevent revealing the thief’s real identity.

PII includes but may not be limited to a consumer’s name, Social Insurance number, date of birth, address, driver’s licence number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate, student transcript, or medical record.

Are pre-existing issues covered?

Most pre-existing identity theft events are not covered under the full restoration benefit. However, our plans can still provide valuable protection and support.

Benefits such as unlimited consultation with a identity theft expert to help you deal with pre-existing identity theft, help placing a fraud alert on your credit accounts and ongoing monitoring to track any new issues provide critical support when you need it most.

If you’ve already experienced identity theft, join immediately and contact our Licensed Private Investigators to prevent additional damage to your finances and reputation.

How does the 30 day free trial work and what is your cancellation policy?

Sign up today and pay nothing for the first 30 days. If you cancel your plan before 30 days, you’ll be changed nothing. If you choose to continue beyond 30 days, your first month is still free and you’ll be charged starting the second month of your membership.

Your membership can be cancelled any time by sending written notice to IDShield. Please see your membership benefits for cancellation instructions specific to your plan, or you can call/email Member Services at 800-654-7757 or email [email protected] Important: Your membership and payment remain active until written notice is received.

What is 1 bureau (1B) monitoring?

“1B” monitoring refers to the number of credit bureaus being monitored.

Offering 1-bureau monitoring allows us to keep costs of the IDShield product low and still monitor important data. One-bureau monitoring is effective because it is rare that credit-related identity theft is limited to one event and that one event is reported to only one credit bureau.

With our 1 bureau monitoring plans, IDShield monitors credit reports from TransUnion credit bureau.

Lenders, creditors and many businesses check and submit data that ends up on your credit reports. But not all report to the same credit bureau.

It is important to note that when identity theft is confirmed, the restoration process deals with ALL THREE national credit reporting agencies, so that all of the member’s reports are reviewed and any fraudulent information on the reports is disputed.

How do I know if I’ve been a victim of identity theft?

Sometimes a consumer may think identity theft has occurred when it may not actually have. If there is an account on your credit report that you did not authorize, it is possible that an identity thief used your information to create an account or it could simply be the result of a credit reporting error. You can prove you’re a victim of identity theft if you can confirm that your Social Insurance number or other key piece of your Personally Identifiable Information was used to open a credit card account, obtain a loan, submit health care information or similar unauthorized activity. IDShield members have unlimited consultation with Licensed Private Investigators if they have any questions or concerns regarding the status of their identity.

How does identity theft restoration work?

IDShield has Licensed Private Investigators to provide the best identity restoration possible and undo the damage done by identity thieves. Our IDShield Licensed Private Investigators will work for as long as it takes to restore a member’s identity to its pre-theft status to ensure that they are not held responsible for the debts created by the identity thief. By performing comprehensive restoration services, consumer reports are returned to their pre-theft status and other records are cleared of the activity created by the identity thief.

How does monitoring protect me from identity theft?

Credit report monitoring does not prevent identity theft. However, it’s a tool that can alert you to activity that may indicate identity theft is being attempted or has taken place. If you learn someone used your data to apply for credit, you’ll take steps to prevent future misuse of your data.

Who is covered by the family plan?

The participant, their spouse/partner and up to 10 dependent children under the age of 18. Note that monitoring services are not available for dependent children ages 18-26 but dependent children of the member or members spouse ages 18-26 are eligible for consultation and restoration services only.

Is identity theft the same as credit card fraud?

Identity theft is much more than credit card fraud. It’s the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief for the purpose of obtaining goods, services, and/or employment, committing a crime, gaining a benefit or hiding a real identity. It can include a consumer’s name, Social Insurance number, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate information, student transcript data and medical record information.

If I have a bad credit score do I need to worry about identity theft?

Remember, identity theft is not limited to credit fraud. In fact, credit-related identity theft accounts for only a small amount of identity theft incidents. 

Someone can misuse your driver's licence number, make counterfeit checks using your personal information, use your identity to rent an apartment or apply for a payday loan, or give your name and other identifiers to the police if they’re arrested. These activities and others have nothing to do with your credit history.

What is the Dark Web?

Often confused with the “deep web” which is simply those parts of the internet not indexed by any search engine, the “dark web” includes those sites that take measures to hide their IP address to remain anonymous. The most notorious sites on the dark web are those with illegal activities such as the sale of stolen information (think credit/debit card data and personal identifiers that can be used to commit identity theft), drug sales, weapon sales and pornography.

What is credit or debit card fraud?

Credit and debit card fraud, sometimes referred to as “existing account fraud,” occurs when a thief steals information on an existing account and then uses it to make use of that account.

In contrast, “new account fraud” happens when the thief uses the victim’s personally identifiable information to establish an entirely new account of which the victim has no knowledge.

How is a credit score different from a credit report?

Your credit score is a numerical representation of the history of credit use found in your credit report. Your credit report lists the details of your credit history, which can include creditor names, addresses, loan amounts, credit limits, payments made on time or past due, and amount of monthly payments.

If there is an account on my credit report I did not open, does that prove identity theft?

No. Many reports contain errors. If you find an account on your credit report you don’t recognize, call that creditor and ask them to tell you whether there is an account that was opened with the use of your personal identifying information, particularly, your Social Insurance number.

Should I check my bank and credit card accounts even if I haven’t used them in the last month?

Yes. Be certain you receive a monthly statement and review it even when you haven’t initiated any transactions. If a thief has accessed an account that belongs to you, the monthly statement will alert you. It’s your responsibility to inform your bank or credit card company that fraudulent activity is taking place. If a statement doesn’t arrive, call the issuer and determine if someone has changed the address on your account.

Why do I get different credit scores from different credit sources?

Although most credit reports contain the same information, there is a chance that one credit report might have data that a different credit-reporting agency doesn’t have. If you get credit scores that are each based on a different credit report, you could see different credit scores.

I placed a fraud alert, is that enough protection?

A fraud alert is a statement on your credit report indicating that you’re vulnerable to becoming a victim or have been a victim of identity theft. It asks a credit reviewer to take reasonable extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant, reducing the chance a thief will succeed in opening new accounts.

While fraud alerts are a great tool, they should not be considered complete protection. There are many other ways thieves can use your personal identification information to steal money and commit fraud beyond credit cards, such as filing false tax returns or initiating fraudulent transfers from your bank accounts, which fraud alerts to do not protect against.

What is an identity theft report?

It’s the report filed with a law enforcement agency that details what the identity theft victim reported to that agency. What type of identity theft took place? And what entities were involved? Combined with proof of the victim’s identity and residence address, an identity theft report proves that the person providing the report is an actual victim of identity theft and not an identity thief. It can also be provided to credit reporting agencies for putting extended fraud alerts in place.

How can I improve my credit score?

Focus on paying your bills in a timely way by paying down any outstanding balances and staying away from new debt. Be patient, improving a credit score takes time. There are so many factors, it’s hard to say how long it will take to improve a credit score.

Why do I get different scores from different credit score sources?

Although most credit reports contain the same information, there is a chance that one credit report might have data that a different credit-reporting agency doesn’t have. If you get credit scores that are each based on a different credit report, you could see different credit scores.

I placed a fraud alert. Does that mean no one can see my credit report?

No. The fraud alert is not seen until a potential creditor pulls your credit report, which generates an inquiry. A credit or security freeze prevents unauthorized access to your credit report.

I placed a fraud alert for myself. Does that cover my spouse as well?

No. A separate fraud alert must be placed for your spouse. You each have a unique SIN and your own file at the credit reporting agencies. Even though you may have the same credit accounts, you each need to review and protect your reports. One of you could become a victim of identity theft without the other becoming a victim.

What is a fraud security alert?

It’s a statement on your credit report indicating that you’re vulnerable to becoming a victim or have been a victim of identity theft. It asks a credit reviewer to take reasonable extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant, reducing the chance a thief will succeed in opening new accounts.

What’s the difference between a soft inquiry and a hard inquiry?

Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score and can include pre-approved offers of credit and insurance, employer background checks, in addition to checking your own credit. Hard Inquiries are made by an entity checking your credit, for instance, when you’ve applied for a credit card, loan or mortgage. Numerous frequent hard inquiries can lower your score.

What information would the hackers have access to?

This information may include account holder names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, dates of birth, telephone numbers and, in some cases, security questions and answers. If you have a Yahoo Account and use the same password with other accounts, this could make your other emails and personal accounts vulnerable. We recommend changing your passwords and using unique ones on all sites requiring a log-in.

Can I still contact IDShield if I do not have an IDShield account?

Unfortunately, you can’t contact one of our identity theft protection consultants. However, we want to make sure that you are taking protecting yourself and your family in light of recent data breach hacks. If you are interested in signing up or learning more about IDShield, go to

What other benefits does my IDShield membership include?

Your IDShield membership plan also provides you with discounts from more than 20 partner businesses, such as 1-800-Flowers, Dell, HP, Office Depot, Enterprise/National, Men’s Wearhouse, K&G Fashion Superstore, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Six Flags and other great retail partners. Log in to your member portal for complete details and specific offers.