IDShield isn’t a typical identity theft protection service. While it monitors a lot of the same types of information as competing services, IDShield (starting at $9.95 per month) differentiates itself with its consultation services and full identity restoration, with the help of licensed private investigators.
Editors’ Note: We are beginning to evaluate IDShield and will update this article with a full rated review this fall. LegalShield ID Premium, which we previously reviewed, is no longer available.
Cost and What’s Covered
IDShield starts at $9.95 per month for two adults, but families can pay $19.95 monthly to protect the parents and up to eight children.
That price includes security monitoring of everything from your Social Security number and credit card numbers to court records and new-address requests. In addition, IDShield offers privacy monitoring for things such as phone numbers and social media accounts. Also included is a free password manager, to help secure your personal information.
Members get access to an IDShield app, where you can see your credit score and get alerts via push notifications. If you do get an alert, you can take action directly from it; for example, you can call to get in touch with licensed private investigators.Where IDShield stands out is with its consultation services and what the company calls “full-service restoration.”
What Does IDShield Monitor?
IDShield monitors Social Security numbers and up to 10 credit card numbers, bank account numbers and store/retail card numbers. In addition, the service monitors your credit, which you can check at any time without impacting your score.
There’s also a payday-loan monitor, so you’ll know if someone tries to use your info to get a quick loan. IDShield also scours criminal and court records activity.For alerts, you can expect to be pinged by IDShield if you have a delinquent credit account or in the case of things like credit account inquiries and new credit accounts. The service also alerts you if it sees that there’s new employment info, new loan attempts, new address attempts and more.
On the privacy front, IDShield monitors everything you would expect, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number and mailing address, as well as your driver’s license number and passport number. But it also monitors up to 10 email addresses, 10 phone numbers and 10 medical ID numbers.
In addition, the service monitors social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This is part of IDShield’s effort to protect your reputation as well as your privacy. For instance, the company tells you if your birth date is exposed on a social media account and recommends that you remove it.
IDShield provides easy access to your credit score whenever you log on, whether it’s via the website or its mobile app. The service gets this info from Experian, and your credit score is updated every month; a previous version of the service updated your score only once every quarter.
It’s worth noting that other ID protection services monitor all three major credit bureaus. However, if a member is a victim of identity theft, IDShield work with all three bureaus (including Equifax and TransUnion) and pull reports from all of them as part of its restoration services.
IDShield provides members access to licensed private investigators during business hours, but you can also get emergency assistance 24/7 through a separate line. The company says its investigators have an average of seven years of experience and come from a variety of backgrounds, including banking, collection and law enforcement.
You can call to get advice on how to identify scams, how to respond to a data breach, what to do if your wallet is lost or stolen, or how to shop safely online. IDShield positions this as a white glove concierge service, where members can have an open conversation with its reps.
The normal business hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, but there’s also an emergency line that’s open 24/7.
Using private investigators, IDShield promises to fully restore your identity if it is stolen or compromised. The idea is to take the onus off the user and to empower your investigator to work on your behalf.
You’ll first sign over limited power of attorney to get started, and then your IDShield investigator will start calling financial institutions, sending out emails and doing other things to clear your identity.
IDShield says it will collaborate with everyone from credit card companies and credit agencies to local and federal law enforcement.
IDShield doesn’t offer insurance or reimbursement for members in case of identity theft. However, it does offer a $5 million service guarantee. That means that if you become an identity theft victim, the company will spend up to $5 million to restore your identity.