Don't Let Identity Theft Keep You in the Dark
Allstate Highlights Steps to Protect Against or Recover from ID Theft
Consider your reaction when bills arrive in your mailbox for products you never ordered or services you never used. Suddenly you notice that "mistakes" are appearing on your credit card and/or bank statements, and debt collectors are calling about debts that don't belong to you.
Allstate gives its eligible auto and homeowners policyholders peace of mind from ID theft whether from a lost or stolen laptop, wallet, purse; a fraudulent credit card charge; or anytime you feel that your identity might be vulnerable. The company offers proactive education to help prevent identity theft and comprehensive case management for the duration of the identity resolution process.
"Anyone who has experienced ID theft understands the challenge to stop the fraud and restore your credit," said Kevin Ring, Allstate marketing manager. "Our team helps guide our policyholders to help protect against identity theft and resolve fraud if it happens."
For around $35 per year, the company's Identity Restoration Coverage helps customers get restoration of their identity by managing the reporting process with FTC and police agencies and provides credit and fraud monitoring services for victims of identity theft. Reimbursement for covered costs due to identity theft like notaries, postage, lost wages to defend in court are also included with this additional coverage.
All consumers can access resources on identity theft from the Federal Trade Commission who suggests that they complete these steps immediately upon learning of fraud:
1. If you notice signs of fraud, place an initial fraud alert ‐ Call one of the credit reporting agencies and ask that they place a fraud alert on your credit report. The agency you call is then responsible for alerting the other two, and the initial alert is good for 90 days. The agency can also add a freeze to their credit files, in the more extensive fraud situations.
2. Order your credit reports ‐ Order your credit report from one of the three, nationwide credit reporting agencies. Review them carefully for errors or signs of fraud, and share notable information with the credit reporting company.
3. Create an identity theft report ‐ File a complaint with the FTC via their Web site or by calling them at 1‐877‐438‐4338. The completed complaint is called an FTC affidavit. Take the affidavit to the police department where the theft occurred and file a police report. These two items comprise the identity theft report.
Once these steps are completed there are additional measures you can take that may help the situation:
A. Contact the issuers of your credit cards immediately‐ Most companies provide toll‐free numbers that are manned 24/7 to deal with this type of event.
B. Alert your bank(s)‐ If they have a process in place to do so, consider putting a fraud alert on your accounts.
C. Notify other, applicable organizations of the fraud, including (but not limited to):
- Social Security Administration
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Your utility companies
- Your health providers
4. Take steps to repair your credit ‐ The FTC provides tips on things you can do to try to repair your credit after you have been the victim of fraud.
For additional information about Allstate Identity Restoration Coverage, please visit www.allstate.com, call 1-800-Allstate or visit http://allstateagencies.com/agentlocator/searchpage.aspx to find an Allstate agent.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com, www.allstate.com/financial and 1-800 Allstate®, and are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." In 2013, $29 million was given by The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.
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