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SOLUS: Identity Theft Protection
Frequently Asked Questions 
What is Identity Theft?
How do thieves steal an identity? 
What do thieves do with a stolen identity? 
How do I know if I am at risk of having my identity stolen? 
How can SOLUS minimize my risk of becoming a victim? 
Why SOLUS? 
How does Credit Monitoring feature work? 
How does the Full Restoration Services feature work? 
Is the Platinum Protection cost effective? 
What if I already have identity theft insurance? Why do I need SOLUS? 
Are there any laws that specifically prohibit identity theft?

What is Identity Theft?
According to the FTC: identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

    The FTC estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft.

    The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make—or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.

    Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.

    How do thieves steal an identity?
    Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold. According to the FTC: skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including: 

    1. Dumpster Diving . They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it. 
    2. Skimming . They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card. 
    3. Phishing . They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information. 
    4. Changing Your Address . They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form. 
    5. Old-Fashioned Stealing . They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access. 
    6. Pretexting . They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.

    What do thieves do with a stolen identity?
    Once they have your personal information, identity thieves use it in a variety of ways. Here is what the FTC says:

    • They may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report. 
    • They may change the billing address on your credit card so that you no longer receive bills, and then run up charges on your account. Because your bills are now sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there's a problem.
    • Phone or utilities fraud: 
      • They may open a new phone or wireless account in your name, or run up charges on your existing account. 
      • They may use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating, or cable TV.
    • Bank/finance fraud:
      • They may create counterfeit checks using your name or account number. 
      • They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks. 
      • They may clone your ATM or debit card and make electronic withdrawals your name, draining your accounts. 
      • They may take out a loan in your name.
    • Government documents fraud:
      • They may get a driver's license or official ID card issued in your name but with their picture. 
      • They may use your name and Social Security number to get government benefits. 
      • They may file a fraudulent tax return using your information.
    • Other fraud: 
      • They may get a job using your Social Security number. 
      • They may rent a house or get medical services using your name. 
      • They may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they don't show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.

    How do I know if I am at risk of having my identity stolen?
    It is a fact that we are all at risk. Even the most cautious of people are possible victims because there are many companies that maintain huge databases of our personal information. Over the past few years there have been more than 139 personal information breaches involving more than 57.2 million people. The following are just a few important questions that will give you an idea of how at risk you might be to identity theft. 

    • Do you throw away credit card bills/offers, bank checks/statements, and other documents with personal information without shredding them first? 
    • Do you receive your mail in an unlocked mailbox? 
    • Do you provide personal information (medical, financial, mother's maiden name, etc.) over the phone, in person, or via the Internet? 
    • When you provide personal information, do you know how the requesting party plans to use, share, secure, and dispose of it? 
    • Do you ever give out your Social Security number? 
    • Do any of the identification cards you carry in your wallet or purse (e.g., medical insurance or military cards) include your Social Security number? 
    • Have you called 888-5OPTOUT, so you do not receive pre-approved offers for credit? 
    • Do you or your family members visit social networking sites? 
    • Do you or your family download programs, music, photographs or videos? 
    • Do you use old internet browsers for your computer? 
    • Do you use your credit or debit cards when traveling? 
    • Have you recently moved or changed addresses? 
    • Do you ever enroll for services or financing on the internet?

    How can SOLUS minimize my risk of becoming a victim?
    Our Platinum Program uses a combination of technologies to detect identity theft at its earliest stages, restore your credit and prevent further damage. What this means to you is, you are alerted if anyone uses your Social Security number, accesses your credit report or applies for an account in your name.

    The good news is, if caught immediately, the out-of-pocket expense and time spent resolving problems are drastically reduced. As such, our Platinum Membership service takes immediate action to notify your various creditors, the major credit agencies and government agencies.

    Our Platinum Membership helps you, as a victim of identity theft, by quickly stopping the financial losses and by doing the work of recovering your identity for you – freeing up your time and money for other more important things.

    Why SOLUS?
    Recovering from identity theft is a time-consuming process. Victims spend an average of 175 hours recovering from an identity theft, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. This is time many of us cannot afford to spend.

    An assigned team of personal advocates actually performs all of the restoration work for you. The merits of the program include a full suite of Credit Monitoring benefits designed to alert you of any changes to your credit report and provide an ongoing resource for credit report review. Identity Restoration benefits provide an assigned team of advocates to perform all of the time-consuming work to restore your credit and identity, if a breach occurs, freeing up your time for more important things. Finally, the Identity Theft Expense Coverage reimburses victims for certain expenses, including lost wages and legitimate out-of-pocket expenses, related to the theft, up to $25,000 with no deductible.

    No other Identity Theft Protection Membership brings together such a complete suite of benefits as SOLUS. With such industry leading partners as Europ Assistance USA, Trans Union and AIG – the breadth of our service and protection is un-paralleled.

    How does Credit Monitoring feature work?
    With real-time, 24/7 credit detection, we alert you when changes happen to your credit file. You will receive email Credit Monitoring Notification Alerts for changes such as: 

    • Critical changes to credit reports 
    • Changes to existing accounts 
    • Inquiries into your credit file 
    • Address changes 
    • New collection accounts 
    • Credit limit increases 
    • Changes to public records

    By staying alert and vigilant, you can minimize the potential impact of a credit breach. You will know immediately if anyone access your credit or uses your SSN to try to obtain credit from anywhere in the world. The good news is, if caught immediately, the out-of-pocket expense and time spent resolving problems are drastically reduced. This important benefit is included with the comprehensive suite of benefits available to the Platinum Member.

    How does the Full Restoration Services feature work?
    One phone call from you, to our emergency 24/7 ID Theft Assist Action Center triggers our step-by-step attack on identity theft. In the event you become a victim of identity theft, one toll-free phone call, from anywhere in the world, will put a team of specialist to work - taking immediate action to notify your various creditors, the major credit agencies and government agencies. A team of advocates, assigned to your case, will perform the following on your behalf: 

    • Provide participant with a uniform ID Theft Affidavit, answer any questions and submit affidavit to the proper authorities, credit bureaus and creditors
    • Obtain list of creditors and contact them with itemized fraudulent account statements for each fraudulent occurrence 
    • Report fraudulent activity to the local authorities 
    • Notify fraud department of participant’s creditors 
    • Notify all three major credit reporting agencies of identity theft 
    • Assist participant in placing a “fraud alert” on his/her credit report 
    • Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission 
    • Provide the participant with a helpful ID Theft Emergency Response Kit 
    • Translate whenever necessary, such as when a caller is overseas and needs communication assistance 
    • Provide emergency cash advance when theft occurs away from home 
    • Draft a victim impact letter 
    • Determine best legal or other action to take against creditors or how to work with credit bureaus when necessary 
    • Give advice for ancillary problems caused by identity theft

    Is the Platinum Protection cost effective?
    You protect your house, your car, and your health. Would you pay the same amount to protect your identity? For a lot less than any of those costs – you can protect your most valuable asset – your identity. As an example, at a cost equivalent to just slightly above ten dollars a month, our 36 month Platinum Membership is not only affordable, but provides the assurance that you are protected from the fasted growing crime in America today.

    What if I already have identity theft insurance? Why do I need SOLUS?
    Did you read the terms of your protection offered by the other institutions? They may include credit monitoring as a costly add-on. They probably don’t come close on the Restoration Services and Expense Re-imbursement Coverage provided with our Membership. What we have found is that these other plans offer pieces of our protection but typically don’t come close to providing the complete suite of services that our Membership provides. The decision is yours – we hope for the best but encourage you to plan for the worst.

    Are there any laws that specifically prohibit identity theft?
    Yes. In 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (18 U.S.C. 1028). The Act makes the use of another person's identification with the intent to commit any crime a federal felony. Federal agencies including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigate suspected violations of the Act. The U.S. Department of Justice handles prosecutions.

    Federal law enforcement agencies usually do not investigate individual cases unless the dollar amount is high, or the victim is one of many people victimized by the same perpetrator or fraud ring.

    Additionally, many states have passed or are considering laws related to identity theft. Even if your state does not have a law specifically called an identity theft law, the issue is likely covered under other state laws.

    Enroll By Phone: Call 800-640-0468
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    Media & Downloads
     SOLUS Why & How:  Podcast
     Dave Glover on SOLUS:  Commercial
    PDFs: Prevention Tips
      How Thieves Steal An Identity
      Identity Protection = Life Protection
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