IDENTITY THEFT EDUCATION

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PREMIUM IDENTITY PROTECTION IS NOW COMPLETE ID

Complete ID better encompasses what we’re all about – providing complete, comprehensive identity protection services to individuals at an affordable price.
No, the provider is not changing, and the identity protection services provided to you will remain the same.
Yes, the identity protection services included in Complete ID are exactly the same as those in Premium Identity Protection.
Yes, Complete ID is available for the exclusive price of $8.99/month for Costco Executive members, and $13.99/month for Costco Gold Star members. Non-Costco members can enjoy Complete ID for $19.99/month.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Enrolling in Complete ID takes just minutes. During the enrollment process, you will be asked to supply some brief personal information so we can confirm that it is secure and monitor the right data.
We maintain a highly secure environment with best-in-class security measures and policies in place to ensure the utmost secure handling of all data.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces a variety of federal antitrust and consumer protection laws, including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that regulates consumer credit reporting agencies, those who use credit reports, and those who furnish information to consumer credit reporting agencies. The FTC ensures that all three parties (consumers, consumer credit reporting agencies, and lenders) are treated in a fair and equitable manner.
The FTC’s mission is to help the nation’s markets function competitively and efficiently, unhampered by needless restrictions. It works to spotlight and eliminate acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. In general, the FTC tries to stop actions that threaten consumers’ opportunities to exercise informed choice. It also performs economic analyses, when asked, to support its law enforcement efforts and to contribute to the policy as set forth by Congress, the Executive Branch, other independent agencies, and state and local governments.
In addition to carrying out its statutory enforcement responsibilities, the FTC advances the policies underlying Congressional mandates through cost-effective non-enforcement activities, such as consumer education.

BREACH QUESTIONS

A data breach is an incident where personally identifiable information (PII), such as an individual’s name and social security number, driver’s license number, medical record or financial record is potentially put at risk because of exposure.
Breaches most commonly happen through a cyber hack. Cyber criminals, typically aiming to profit off of stolen credentials, either hack into a user’s account with a login and password, trick a user into downloading malicious software, or otherwise gain access to a company or consumer’s internal data. Other causes of breaches include insider theft, accidental exposure, third party breach, or employee negligence.
Unfortunately breaches are on the rise, particularly for the business and medical industries. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports that the number of U.S. data breaches tracked hit a record high of 783 in 2014, representing a hike of 27.5% over the number of breaches reported in 2013.
Generally, personal information like name, email, passwords, social security number, driver’s license number, medical record, and financial information like debit and credit card numbers are taken when a breach occurs.
Not necessarily, but consumers should take measures to ensure their PII is not used maliciously. Complete ID enables them to do that.

IDENTITY THEFT QUESTIONS

You may have heard of identity theft, but what does this term really mean? Going far beyond credit card fraud, identity theft is a rapidly growing crime that most people will face at some point in their lives. Identity theft is officially defined as the deliberate assumption of another person’s identity. It is a crime where a criminal acquires and uses the victim’s personal information, such as a Social Security or driver’s license number, to take out loans, obtain new credit cards, rent an apartment, purchase a car, run up debt, file for bankruptcy and other criminal activities. Identity theft can not only damage someone’s creditworthiness, it can also create unknown criminal records that can result in the identity theft victim being wrongly arrested or denied employment after a routine background check.
The term “financial fraud” covers common credit card, check, and debit card fraud. When a criminal uses your credit cards or debit cards to make a purchase, he or she usually hasn’t assumed your identity. Recovering from financial fraud is relatively easy, since most creditors don’t hold you liable for fraudulent charges.
Use Complete ID to monitor both your financial and public record information and look for:

  • Unfamiliar criminal records, court records, address information or bankruptcies
  • Unexplained charges or withdrawals
  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. This may signal an address change by the identity thief
  • Being served court papers or arrest warrants for actions you did not commit
  • Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply
  • Being denied credit for no apparent reason
  • Receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy

Although any of these indications could be a result of a simple clerical error, you should not assume that there’s been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution to find out

Complete ID members may contact Member Services at 1-855-591-0202 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days a year.

ANNUAL 3B CREDIT REPORTS AND SCORES

In some cases, the credit reporting agency may commit errors on your report – the incorrect information may simply be a mistake. However, an error on your credit report could indicate that an identity theft event has occurred.
Your credit score may be different among the 3 credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® – because each bureau is independent and contains unique data regarding your credit history. Lenders are not required to report to or inquire with all 3 bureaus, therefore, it is possible that you may have more credit inquiries or delinquencies on file with one bureau as opposed to another, which may impact your credit score.
Your credit report includes data from the date your credit file was first established. This could span more than 25 years.
Every reported item on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. If your score has changed significantly since the last month, it may be due to the fact that an account was not reported for the month or an item has been added to or removed from your report. Drastic changes in account balances and opening new lines of credit could also significantly impact your score.
Your Complete ID subscription includes credit scores generated using the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm. Using the 300 to 850 scoring range, VantageScore® is used by thousands of lenders to assess the creditworthiness of customers for activities such as applying for loans, credit cards, and mortgages.
Your monthly credit score is calculated by applying the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm to the data stored within your Experian credit report. Your annual credit score is calculated by applying the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm to the data stored within your 3-Bureau report (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). Complete ID uses VantageScore because it was created jointly by the three credit bureaus in order to provide consistency and the ability to score a broad population.
Complete ID utilizes the VantageScore 3.0 model. However, in general, lenders and other identity protection providers use a variety of scoring models other than the one that was used to calculate your score. It is possible that the other identity protection provider utilized a different scoring model.
There are many unique credit score formulas (or algorithms) used by credit bureaus and identity protection providers. VantageScore was jointly created by the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) in 2006 with the goal of providing consistent scores across their reports. Now on the 3.0 version, VantageScore uses information in your credit report to produce a score that ranges from 300 to 850. VantageScore is used by thousands of lenders to assess the creditworthiness of customers for activities such as applying for loans, credit cards, and mortgages.

3B CREDIT MONITORING

Tri-Bureau Credit Monitoring includes monitoring of changes reported to all three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Changes monitored include personal information, public records, inquiries, new account openings, and existing accounts reported past due.
Credit bureau notifications are generated through consistent monitoring, and are distributed daily via email.

INTERNET SURVEILLANCE

This data comes from public and criminal Internet properties including forums and websites, IRC channels, search engine queries, social networks, peer-to-peer sources, hidden and anonymous web services, malware samples, botnets, and torrent sources.
Your first status check will include data from the previous 8 years. This means that the Internet surveillance tool searches the prior 8 years of data records for a match to the personal information we are monitoring for you.

Complete ID tracks Internet activity for signs that the personal information you’ve asked us to monitor is being traded or sold. If our surveillance technology has discovered information on the Internet that is a match to your monitored identity elements, you will be notified and provided with clear instruction about what to do next.

It is safe to assume that if some of your information is compromised, all of it is. Even if only some of your personal information has been detected, it is recommended that you contact support — and/or immediately make a change to your account information yourself, if possible. For example, immediately change the password to your email account, and call us.

The data that can be monitored includes:

  • 3 email addresses
  • Social Security Number
  • 3 Phone Numbers
  • 10 Credit/Debit Cards
  • 5 Bank Accounts
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Passport
  • 5 Store/Membership Cards
  • 2 Medical ID Numbers

MAIL CHANGE ALERTS

Mail Change Alerts watches for changes in address that have been processed through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Mail Change Alerts does not include UPS or FedEx-only addresses or private mailboxes.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Sex offender records are generated from entries from each state’s sex offender registries. Our data is only as accurate as the information that is publicly available by the individual state. These registries span a database of over 1.8 million records from 49 states as well as Washington DC, Native American reservations, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Mississippi does not allow access to its records, but information about sex offenders in this state are still included in our database when offenders have moved there from other states.
Not all criminals convicted of a sex-related offense are required to register. However, sex offenders who were not ordered to register would still appear in a criminal records database, and could have an offense description indicating a sex crime.
Your Neighborhood Watch report is updated monthly. If there is a change in the data returned at this time, you will receive an alert.
False matches in this report can occur as a result of an individual having the same name and/or date of birth as you. This may also indicate that a sex offender has used your name or personal information to register.

A false match can usually be resolved by calling the relevant courthouse to make sure the records in question belong to another individual. If the courthouse confirms that the records in question relate to your identity – usually done by confirming your SSN or driver’s license number – and you have not been convicted of a sex crime, you may be a victim of identity theft. If you are concerned, please contact customer support.

BANK ACCOUNT TAKEOVER WATCH

Your personal information is monitored daily against activity from a comprehensive, cross-industry database. The service has access to thousands of financial institutions across all 50 states which includes national and regional banks and credit unions.
This service monitors your name and SSN, and will notify you daily if unusual or high-risk activity is detected. If detected, you will receive the following alerts:

  • Bank Account Opening Notification – If your personal information has been used to open a new bank account.
  • Bank Account Takeover Notification – If changes have been made to your existing bank account, including changes to the account holder’s personal information or attempts to add new account holders.

CREDIT CARD APPLICATION FLAGGING AND CHECKING AND SAVINGS ACCOUNT APPLICATION ALERTS

Your personal information is monitored daily against activity from a comprehensive, cross-industry database. The service has access to thousands of financial institutions across all 50 states which includes national and regional banks and credit unions.
This service monitors your name and SSN, and will notify you daily if unusual or high-risk activity is detected. If detected, you will receive the following alerts:

  • Credit Card Application Notification – If your personal information has been used to apply for a new credit card account.
  • Credit Card Opening Notification– If your personal information has been used to open a new credit card account.
  • Bank Account Application Notification– If your personal information has been used to apply for a bank account.

CRIMINAL RECORDS MONITORING

This is usually a good thing! It means that we didn’t find a match to your personal information in our court records data. This may be due to one of the following:

  • Your identity has not been stolen for the purpose of committing a crime
  • Your court records have been expunged or your court records have not yet been updated in the public records database
  • You have never been convicted of a crime
Criminal Records Monitoring searches court records and jail bookings data sourced from the following places:

  • Over 509 million records mapping to federal, state, city, and county level jurisdictions
  • Over 60 million incarceration records spread across 2,100 police organizations covering over 70% of national bookings
  • 99 million Department of Corrections (DOC) parole, probation, and incarceration records
  • Over 4.9 million warrant records. 98 county, state and city level warrants reporting 664 of 3,248 counties in 50 states and Puerto Rico
  • Over 9 million arrest records
  • Over 330 thousand government records, such as Most Wanted and terrorist lists
No. Court records data restricted states and territories include Maine, Wyoming, South Dakota, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Department of Corrections data restricted states include Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. Jail bookings data restricted states and territories include Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Puerto Rico.
False matches in court records status check can occur when another individual has the same name and/or date of birth as you. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.
You should see a notification within 30 days from the date a new court record is entered.
Your first report includes court and jail bookings data from the past 10 years.

ARREST ALERTS

False matches can occur as a result of an individual having the same name and/or date of birth as you. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.
You should see a notification within 36-48 hours from the time a booking incident occurs.

PAYDAY LOAN MONITORING

A payday loan, also known as a non-credit or quick-cash loan, is a type of short-term borrowing where an individual borrows a small amount at a very high interest rate. Payday Loan Monitoring notifies you if this type of loan has been opened using an element of your identity.
Payday Loan Monitoring gets data from 23 of the top 25 payday lenders.
Your first Payday Loan Monitoring status check includes data from the past 2 years.

SSN MONITORING

If your status check contains names and/or addresses that are not familiar to you, there is probably an error in credit header data. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.
Your first SSN Monitoring status check looks at data beginning from the date your SSN first became associated with credit header data. This could be as early as when you were born and issued an SSN.

CHILD PROTECTION

This service monitors your child’s SSN to identify credit information associated with your child’s identity. We also monitor your child’s personal information for activity on the dark web, including public and criminal Internet properties. If we find a match to your child’s monitored information online, we’ll notify you.
You can add Child Protection to your plan after you have enrolled in Complete ID. Simply log in to your account, click “Activate Child Protection” from the Home screen, and follow the steps to complete your purchase.
You can add up to 5 children to your plan.
This data comes from public and criminal Internet properties including forums and websites, IRC channels, search engine queries, social networks, peer-to-peer sources, hidden and anonymous web services, malware samples, botnets, and torrent sources.
Your first Child Protection status check includes data from the previous 8 years. This means that our tool searches the prior 8 years of records it has collected for a match to your child’s personal information.
Complete ID tracks Internet activity for signs that the personal information you’ve asked us to monitor is being traded or sold. If our surveillance technology has discovered information on the Internet that is a match to your monitored identity elements, you will be notified and provided with clear instruction about what to do next.
It is safe to assume that if some of your child’s information is compromised, all of it is. Even if only some of your child’s personal information has been detected, it is recommended that you contact member support.

LOST WALLET REPLACEMENT ASSISTANCE

Lost Wallet Replacement Assistance is included with your membership, and there are no extra fees.
No. Our Specialists will personally assist in contacting your bank or creditor to cancel your lost or stolen cards. These entities will be able to locate your account by verifying other forms of PII, and specialists may utilize Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to do this on your behalf.

IDENTITY RESTORATION

As specialists, we’ll help you determine if an identity theft event has occurred and guide you through any necessary restoration activities. We may take the following actions on your behalf:

  • Contact your credit card issuer or banking institution
  • Review your credit report for indications of identity theft
  • Place a fraud alert or security freeze with the three credit bureaus

IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE

1VantageScores are calculated on the VantageScore 3.0 model. Your VantageScore 3.0 indicates your credit risk level and is not used by all lenders, so don’t be surprised if your lender uses a score that’s different from your VantageScore 3.0.

MORE EDUCATION

MINIMIZE YOUR RISK

While there is no way to ensure that you never become a victim, managing your personal information carefully and sensibly is the first step in minimizing your risk.

Learn More

CREDIT INFORMATION

Your credit information is the first place to look when you suspect identity theft has taken place. Make sure you’re educated on how to spot something fishy.

Learn More

OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION

Criminals don’t need your complete profile — or even your credit information — to steal your identity. To most effectively minimize your risk of identity theft, it’s critical to monitor non-credit identity data as well.

Learn More

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