Best Identity Theft Protection with Fraud Alerts

Last Updated on Jan 16, 2020

The best identity theft protection plans shine in different ways. Here we highlight the year’s five best companies in terms of fraud alerts. A plan with any provider below can give you virtually real-time fraud notification, plus you’ll have stolen funds insurance and support from ID recovery experts such as lawyers and notary republics if needed. All in all, your low monthly payment could be worth millions! Furthermore most companies include credit scores with each plan, or else offer credit scores as an upgrade.

Best Identity Theft Protection with Fraud Alerts

  • Identity Guard – Best Fraud Alerts Overall
  • LifeLock – Best Reimbursement for Stolen Funds
  • IdentityForce – Best Mobile Fraud Alerts
  • ID Watchdog – Best Fraud Assistance
  • Experian – Best Credit Fraud Alerts

Prices for ID theft protection are as low as $7.50/month for a single adult. For the best identity theft protection though, an individual typically spends about $10 to $25 per month. And what about families? Household discounts and low-priced “junior accounts” are available. It’s smart to get identity theft protection for everyone; even a baby’s identity can be valuable to criminals. Without identity protection your child might not be alerted about ID fraud until he or she first applies for a passport, a driver’s license, or a job.

Identity Guard – Best Fraud Alerts Overall

Identity Guard has served about 50 million subscribers since forming in 2001. This Virginia-based company was founded specifically to fight ID theft in the digital age, and they take pride in providing the best fraud alerts overall. Identity Guard also boasts an A+ from the Better Business Bureau.

Prices range from $7.50 to $29.17 per month when billed annually, and every plan includes up to $1 million in stolen funds recovery. Month-to-month rates with the same benefits are available too.

Watson At Your Service

A key to Identity Guard’s success is partnership with the supercomputer company IBM Watson. With identity theft on its artificial mind, a Watson computer scans billions of online data points every day. For example:

  • IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence delves into the “dark web” of Internet forums where criminals exchange stolen SSNs and bank account numbers.
  • Watson scans the web for news about corporate data breaches. In turn, Identity Guard can send fraud alerts immediately whereas the hacked company itself might take hours or longer to “manage public relations” and get the news to all account holders.

Better Credit Monitoring

With Identity Guard, you can get real-time credit alerts involving Equifax, Experian and TransUnion data. For comparison many competing ID protection companies only monitor one credit bureau. Three-bureau alerts are part of every Identity Guard plan.

Additionally you can get a monthly TransUnion summary and an annual triple-bureau credit report. Reports are included with Identity Guard Total Plan ($16.67/month and up) and Premier Plan ($20.83/month and up).

Facebook Profile Protection

A special feature of the Identity Guard Premier plan is a Social Insight Report. This uses artificial technology to scan your Facebook profile for any risky content in terms of ID theft, plus it activates resources in case cyberbullies attack. These social media benefits make the Premier plan especially appealing to subscribers with teenagers in the home.

Prices

Identity Guard prices vary for individuals and families. The lowest monthly price for individuals is $7.50, and for families it’s $12.50. With fraud alerts from all three bureaus, lowest prices are $16.67 for individuals and $25 for families per month.

At the Identity Guard website you can click “Individual” or “Family.” Then you can choose from Value, Total, and Premier subscriptions. Coverage starts as soon as you complete online enrollment.

LifeLock – Best Reimbursement for Stolen Funds

After being founded in 2005, LifeLock quickly became a best-known name in ID protection. As competitors crowded the industry, LifeLock kept adapting for success. Today they provide Norton 360 software and VPNs (virtual private networks) to enhance ID security plans at all three price points: $9.99, $19.99, and $25.99 per month. The cheapest LifeLock plan secures up to five digital devices, and the $25.99 LifeLock plan covers a virtually unlimited number of personal computers and mobile devices. Plans also include a generous 500GB of cloud storage per person to back up files.

The $25.99 LifeLock plan is also one of the best deals for reimbursement of stolen funds, as you get up to $1 million of insurance along with many other benefits.

Each minor in your household can get the same protection of an adult’s plan for an additional $5.99 per person. This is a flat rate across LifeLock plans.

Norton 360 with LifeLock

LifeLock lets you use Norton 360 on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablet computers. You can run the software on five, 10, or more devices depending on your LifeLock plan. Features include:

  • Virus protection
  • Anti-phishing technology
  • 500GB backup of PC to the cloud
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Anonymous browsing
  • Ad tracker blocking
  • PC SafeCam to prevent spying
  • Parental controls

Furthermore for ID protection online, LifeLock checks file-sharing sites where teens are especially likely to upload/download data and maybe unknowingly share compromising data.

Stolen Funds Reimbursement & Other Compensation

Every LifeLock monthly plan from $9.99 and up will provide up to $1,000,000 in coverage for lawyers and other experts in case you need assistance with identity theft recovery.

Furthermore each plan includes:

  • Personal expense compensation (e.g., for travel and lost work time related to ID theft)
  • Stolen funds reimbursement to restore drained accounts

Here’s how coverage varies by plan:

$9.99 LifeLock Select

  • Up to $25,000 stolen funds reimbursement
  • Up to $25,000 personal expense compensation
  • Up to $1 million for expert services

$19.99 LifeLock Advantage

  • Up to $100,000 stolen funds reimbursement
  • Up to $100,000 personal expense compensation
  • Up to $1 million for expert services

$25.99 LifeLock Ultimate Plus

  • Up to $1 million stolen funds reimbursement
  • Up to $1 million personal expense compensation
  • Up to $1 million for expert services

LifeLock plans also vary in terms of credit reporting, investment account monitoring, and more as explained in the next section of this review.

Beyond Norton 360: Other LifeLock Features

Starting at $9.99/month every LifeLock subscriber gets access to SSN monitoring, lost wallet protection, credit monitoring, 24/7 phone support, and other benefits.

A big advantage of upgrading to a $19.99 or $25.99 plan is notification of crimes committed in your name. Without this service “you” might be out on bail and not even know! It’s an especially high risk when you have a common name like Jonathon Smith or Maria Rodriguez, but a criminal might use anyone’s identity to skip jail time.

The advanced LifeLock plans monitor social media for imposter accounts as well.

The top-tier $25.99 plan, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, has the best credit monitoring (triple-bureau rather than single-bureau) and has some banking and investment-related features that the cheaper plans lack. Also provided only with Ultimate Plus are alerts from a sex offender registry if a convicted person is known to move to your neighborhood.

LifeLock for Minors

LifeLock Junior costs $5.99 a month. It isn’t available on its own but can be added to any adult plan. The financial benefits applied to the junior account mirror those of the main account, so children can receive up to $1 million in   stolen funds reimbursement, expert support, and more.

Subscriptions to LifeLock have a 60-day money-back guarantee.

IdentityForce – Best Mobile Fraud Alerts

IdentityForce launched in Massachusetts in 2005. Today they’re a nationwide favorite for ID theft protection and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The Identity Force mobile app helps make the company our nominee for best mobile fraud alerts as explained below.

IdentityForce Mobile App

Normally with an ID protection account you’ll log in with a desktop computer. With IdentityForce you can access your account with a mobile app too. The mobile app is useful in case of crime, as it lets you receive alerts and take action from your smartphone. As you can see with the list below, the features are comprehensive for ID theft prevention and resolution. Furthermore the IdentityForce app lets you check your credit score and use a credit improvement simulator anytime.

For extra security, two-factor authentication is needed whether you access your account by desktop or mobile app. The mobile app uses two-factor authentication, facial recognition and TouchID as well.

Plans & Prices

IdentityForce has two main plans: UltraSecure and UltraSecure + Credit. For individuals the prices are $17.95 a month and $23.95 a month, respectively. You can add children for just $2.75 each by default, or else negotiate a cheaper family rate by phone. That could be worthwhile if you have lots of minors in your home.

Both IdentityForce plans give these and other benefits:

  • $1,000,000 in theft Insurance
  • Fully managed identity restoration
  • Bank and credit card activity alerts
  • Investment account alerts
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Medical ID fraud protection
  • Social security number tracking
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Sex offender monitoring
  • Social media fraud monitoring

Furthermore the UltraSecure + Credit plan includes three-bureau credit monitoring, scores, and reports along with a credit score tracker and simulator.

Both IdentityForce plans are wonderfully comprehensive and competitively priced. You can try either plan free for two weeks.

ID Watchdog – Best Fraud Assistance

Good dogs! While four-legged friends might help guard physical space, Denver-based ID Watchdog can protect your Social Security Number, bank account numbers, and other data wherever it might be. The Watchdog is our choice for best fraud assistance because they’ll keep pursuing your case until it’s resolved. In contrast some competitors throw in the towel after a certain amount of time has passed or expenses reach a limit, even if you’re still dealing with the consequences of ID theft.

ID Watchdog’s bark is strong, and its bite is backed with the resources of parent company Equifax.

ID Watchdog Plans

The lowest prices with ID Watchdog come with annual plans. The Plus Plan ($14.95/month) provides comprehensive identity monitoring, alerts, and ID theft resolution. It monitors all three major credit bureaus for fraud, though it doesn’t provide your credit scores. The Premium Plan ($19.95/month) adds monthly credit reports from Vantage.

As mentioned above, both plans include expert resolution of your case for as much time as needed. Some additional specific benefits with both ID Watchdog plans are:

  • Monitoring public records for ID theft
  • Scouring the dark web for stolen data
  • Checking payday lenders for your name
  • Alerting you by text, phone, and/or mobile app

Customer service from ID Watchdog is available in dozens of languages. The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for 2019.

Experian – Best Credit Fraud Alerts

The previous company, ID Watchdog, is owned by Equifax. A top competitor is IdentityWorks, which is Experian’s ID protection company. IdentityWorks offers the best credit fraud alert deals for large households in particular, as you can include up to 10 minors and two adults per subscription. You can also get real-time alerts about credit inquiries and other activity detected with all three major credit bureaus. A bonus is getting Experian-specific credit score updates daily. Experian IdentityWorks also makes it easy to lock and unlock your credit file anytime.

With plans starting at $9.99 you’re entitled to up to $500,000 in lost funds reimbursement. For $19.99 total per month the reimbursement cap is extended to $1 million.

Additional Features

Like other companies highlighted here, IdentityWorks can be a comprehensive solution for credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The best protection comes with their Premium plan, which costs $19.99 per month if you choose an annual agreement. Benefits include these and more:

  • Social Security Number monitoring
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Payday loan monitoring
  • Alerts about sex offenders in your area
  • Monitoring court records for your name
  • Surveilling social media for imposters
  • Quarterly reports from all 3 credit bureaus

Experian IdentityWorks offers both plans with 30-day free trials.