LegalShield announced that IDShield has unveiled two new services designed to help protect members from the risk of identity theft.
IDShield now can reduce mail and phone solicitations, lowering the number of places fraudsters and identity thieves can obtain a person’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – also used to commit medical identity theft.
Mail and phone solicitation reduction: One of the methods of obtaining a person’s PII is by going through their physical mailbox or trash, or attempting to gain access to information from direct marketing companies. Reducing the number of unsolicited phone calls and pieces of mail can lower the likelihood that a consumer could be subject to a phone scam or click on a link that would launch malware on a computer. IDShield now helps members remove their information from public records sources, deleting their PII at the source. Additionally, IDShield Members can receive custom advice, based on their own risk profile, by speaking with a private investigator.
Medical identity theft mitigation: To mitigate against and detect a member’s health insurance number or PII being used fraudulently, IDShield now provides a combination of services aimed to help prevent and detect identity theft. This includes instructions, advice and live-person consultations on how to obtain and read medical and insurance statements, as well as how to obtain and interpret the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) consumer report. IDShield also monitors members’ health insurance numbers on the ‘dark web,’ surveying millions of data points that slip under the radar. If a member finds fraudulent information on the MIB report, they can speak with a private investigator for advice on how to proceed.
“Consumer education and awareness is a critical factor in reducing the likelihood of identity theft,” said Scott Grissom, LegalShield’s Vice President of Product Leadership.
“Consumers need to be aware of exactly who has access to their personal information and how it is shared. Data can be duplicated and shared with numerous third-party agencies, creating an exponential number of opportunities for fraud and identity theft. One way to reduce those opportunities is to go straight to the source, and that starts with removing your information from national databases that woo you to sign up for pre-approved credit cards or other services.”
IDShield also includes a limited power of attorney (LPOA) feature that empowers a private investigator to act on a member’s behalf to correct bank and other records following an ID theft. This service is backed by a $5 million service guarantee. If a member submits the LPOA documentation, the investigator can request the MIB report.
Unlike the credit bureaus, consumer medical data lacks a central clearinghouse or repository.
Identity thieves could steal a person’s PII or health insurance number to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file claims with a member’s insurance provider, or get other care.
This mixing of the health information of two separate people under one identity could affect future treatments, insurance and payment records and credit reports.
Inaccurate or false information on the file could also diminish one’s ability to get health, disability or life insurance, including a term life insurance policy.
“We’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of falling victim to medical identity fraud,” emphasized Grissom.
“IDShield is taking great measures to drive awareness of these potential dangers. Members can contact a licensed private investigator for step-by-step instructions and advice.”