Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Data Breach - Free Credit Monitoring Services

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    184

    Data Breach - Free Credit Monitoring Services

    I have been notified that my information has been a part of at least two "data breaches," one due to previous federal employment and one from former private health insurer Anthem. The information potentially accessed includes my social security number, information from (as I recall, quite extensive) federal background check, and God knows what else. Both entities then sent me information on how to enroll in special credit and identity monitoring services at no charge to myself.

    This happened some time ago and I just never did anything. I guess my thought was that I'd only be creating another place for them to store my info that might get breached again. I also forgot about it and just came across the related materials while catching up on a year's plus worth of filing.

    In the case of Anthem, I also got a card (again a long time ago) saying that I am entitled to free credit monitoring services and possibly other benefits as part of a class action settlement, but I need to reply by the end of this month.

    Anthem is also offering to put a free "credit freeze" or "credit lock" on one of my kids (? why just one and not the other), but to take advantage of this, they want me to send in a copy of the child's birth certificate, social security card, as well as proof of my own identity and address. This seems especially suspect and not a good idea to me, although I guess the insurance-related info would potentially have included information about my kids.

    Any thoughts on whether to take them up on what they are offering?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    3,043
    Quote Originally Posted by mamalatte View Post
    I have been notified that my information has been a part of at least two "data breaches," one due to previous federal employment and one from former private health insurer Anthem. The information potentially accessed includes my social security number, information from (as I recall, quite extensive) federal background check, and God knows what else. Both entities then sent me information on how to enroll in special credit and identity monitoring services at no charge to myself.

    This happened some time ago and I just never did anything. I guess my thought was that I'd only be creating another place for them to store my info that might get breached again. I also forgot about it and just came across the related materials while catching up on a year's plus worth of filing.

    In the case of Anthem, I also got a card (again a long time ago) saying that I am entitled to free credit monitoring services and possibly other benefits as part of a class action settlement, but I need to reply by the end of this month.

    Anthem is also offering to put a free "credit freeze" or "credit lock" on one of my kids (? why just one and not the other), but to take advantage of this, they want me to send in a copy of the child's birth certificate, social security card, as well as proof of my own identity and address. This seems especially suspect and not a good idea to me, although I guess the insurance-related info would potentially have included information about my kids.

    Any thoughts on whether to take them up on what they are offering?
    Please forgive my cynicism but I was involved in the Credit Bureau fiasco and both mine and my wifeís critical info was compromised. I asked myself, why should I trust the very people who exposed my information.....to now protect it? So I did nothing but review my credit report for a baseline to document that nothing was amiss. Iíll check every once in awhile and make the necessary complaint if it happens. I look at it this way, these agencies are simply protecting themselves from civil liability by promising to do something for you when in reality they are going to do nothing for you. I ainít playing that game.

  3. #3
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,145
    Clark Howard says those are a waste of time and money, since they only catch something after the deed is done. He highly recommends freezing your credit with the three major reporting agencies.

  4. #4
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,145

  5. #5
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    3,043
    Quote Originally Posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I was always curious....what makes this guy an expert?

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I was always curious....what makes this guy an expert?
    I take it you don't think he is?

    I don't know. I just have confidence in a lot of what he says. Sort of like I do with Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin or Amy Dacyczyn. They all just make sense to me. I test some of the things they say and they are usually right.

    With Clark, he has been doing this consumer advice thing for 25 years now. Plus he has a team of researchers who help keep up with current stuff. In this case, he's right that credit monitoring catches the horse after it is already left the barn. The thief has already used your identity to set up new credit for themselves before you can stop then. Then you have to go through the process of fixing your credit. If you do a credit freeze, any creditor that uses any of the big three credit reporting agencies they will see your credit is frozen and won't issue the card or sell them the car or whatever.

    That just makes simple sense to me. Doesn't it for you?
    "There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

  7. #7
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    3,043
    I think Clark Howard as a former travel agent, with a degree in Urban Government and a masters in Business Administration is qualified to provide good advice on consumer purchases like cars and world travel but his attempts to provide direction on investments, insurance and debt via a radio entertainment show are incomplete at best and harmful at worst. People really need to go to a professional financial adviser who is a fiduciary...meaning legally and ethically responsible to manage money for a beneficiary.

    I was listening to the “show” once and a woman “called in” about some financial sticky situation and Clark did his usual, “What is it we can help you with today?” As if he was going to field a question totally off the cuff. The “caller” said paraphrased, “Well, I called in the other day and your staff called me back.” Clark as caught off guard and repeated the question. The show is...well....a show.

    But other than that complaint, I think he is a great travel agent.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Storyteller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Rural Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,145
    So because he was a travel agent some 25+ years ago that's all he can ever be? I hope not. I hated roofing.

    Seriously, though, I listen to Clark for inspiration and entertainment more than anything else, although I pick up good (sometimes great) information every time I listen. He comes off as a nice guy (unlike Dave Ramsey, who is kind of an ass sometimes), and I genuinely like him.

    But more to the point of this thread, what is wrong with his above mentioned advice regarding the data breach?

    And what specific investment, insurance, and debt advice have you found objectionable?
    "There are too many books in the world to read in a single lifetime; you have to draw the line somewhere." --Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

  9. #9
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    3,043
    Quote Originally Posted by The Storyteller View Post
    So because he was a travel agent some 25+ years ago that's all he can ever be? I hope not. I hated roofing.

    Seriously, though, I listen to Clark for inspiration and entertainment more than anything else, although I pick up good (sometimes great) information every time I listen. He comes off as a nice guy (unlike Dave Ramsey, who is kind of an ass sometimes), and I genuinely like him.

    But more to the point of this thread, what is wrong with his above mentioned advice regarding the data breach?

    And what specific investment, insurance, and debt advice have you found objectionable?
    I wouldn’t describe anything about the above mentioned advice “wrong”. I would just call it as complete as a radio talk show host can be, and unfortunately for the average listener who can not and does not tune in for every minute of every daily show.....can not hear the entire spectrum of strategies to combat identity theft.

    Instead what they get are bits and pieces and depending on what bits and what pieces...could be helpful or could be harmful. 143 million victims of the data breach is a huge pool of potential listeners. Clark Howard May not be an expert on all things financial but he is an expert in marketing his own program to his advertisers.

    In regards to investment advice, insurance and debts......isnt it better to consult an accredited financial planner with legal responsibilities for standardized guidance, or a trusted insurance professional who can sit down and review the details of your specific situation or a debt management planner who can do the same. Granted, it will cost you in fees and it will take longer than a one or two minute free back and forth between a popular radio host....but I think you will likely get better advice for your specific issues. After all, when you hang up the phone ...... where is Clark Howard going to be if his advice doesn’t pan out.

    If you listen to Howard for inspiration and/or entertainment.....that’s great. He can be both.

    I think geting advice from a radio radio program can be a very helpful tool. I’ve done it in the past....have you ever heard of Trapper John Colombo? Now that guy really knew how to get rid of groundhogs.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Clark Howard says those are a waste of time and money, since they only catch something after the deed is done. He highly recommends freezing your credit with the three major reporting agencies.
    Exactly what I did. I am a member of AAA and it comes with basic credit monitoring, but I doubt it does much. Might as well use it since I have it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •