Metro Provides Identity Protection Service for Registered Voters
Letters were mailed on January 11 from Mayor Karl Dean to all Davidson County registered voters whose identifying information was likely listed on the laptops that were stolen from the Davidson County Election Commission offices over the Christmas holiday. The letters offer a year of identity protection service from Debix Identity Protection Network at no charge. Included in the protection are: warnings by phone whenever someone attempts to open credit in your name, optional placement on the National Do Not Call Registry, and $10,000 of identity protection insurance (although the Debix website indicates $25,000 of coverage will be provided). In addition, Debix will place a fraud alert on your account with each of the three major credit bureaus and renew that alert every three months.
I received my letter recently and went to the Debix website to learn more.
The company’s website provides a very clear description of the services provided and even includes a live demo of the warning call you will receive when someone applies for credit in your name. During the demo, the system calls your phone and allows you to approve or deny the simulated credit request.
Based on the article about identity theft that appeared in today’s Tennessean, it’s not clear whether or not the service covers all of the scenarios under which your stolen identity could be used. It is clear that the service from Debix will cover situations where someone is attempting to open a line of credit, like a credit card or loan, but what about turning on utilities or applying for employment? The Debix website doesn’t address these other situations at all.
However, since it’s still unclear whether or not anyone’s information has been compromised and the service is free for the first year, I decided to go ahead and sign up. The process is very straightforward and took about ten minutes to complete. After reading about the service and providing contact information, I received an automated phone call to set up notifications and an email message to confirm my email address. The irony of providing my identifying information to a third party in order to protect my information from misuse by a third party was not lost on me. Later, I should receive an ID card in the mail from Debix as well as confirmation letters about the fraud alerts from each credit bureau.
And that’s pretty much it. Now I can sleep a little better at night, knowing that my identity is better protected, at least from fraudulent lines of credit.