If you’re approaching your retirement, you’re likely looking forward to a restful life, further improved by the convenience and accessibility the digital world brings. For instance, you can apply for and manage retirement benefits through the SSA portal, while friends are just one message or video call away.
Thanks to the digital world, you can enjoy a more convenient life—until you realize that seniors are common identity theft targets. Horror stories from friends with close encounters with ID thieves have become rampant, and you’ll naturally worry about your own digital safety.
Because of these threats, protecting your online identity, retirement benefits, savings, and insurance policies is crucial.
Thankfully, there are identity theft protection services you can count on, but choosing which one to invest in is easier said than done. You don’t want to sign up for a service that over-promises and underperforms or perhaps causes you to be more vulnerable than ever to ID theft.
You deserve a hassle and stress-free retirement, away from thefts, scams, and other crimes.
To help make this a reality, we’ve scoured the web for the best ID protection for seniors by going through official sources of ID theft protection companies.
We’ve also read recommendations from other people through ID theft online sources. We reviewed dozens of feedback from independent sites and checked ratings and reviews for these products.
In the end, we shared the most critical factor all seniors should consider when looking for an ID theft protection service. So read without skipping!
The best identity theft protection for seniors
If you’re looking to protect yourself or your senior loved one from identity theft, here are some companies worth working with:
BEST FOR: Seniors looking for affordable identity theft protection
Zander Insurance is a Dave Ramsey-recommended identity theft protection option that offers low-cost services. If you’re on a budget, then this service might be worth considering.
Now how does its identity theft protection work? Zander Insurance uses cyber tools to monitor your personal information across the web and look out for any fraudulent activities that may involve your data.
Then, it works with recovery specialists to deal with issues and reimburse your losses.
You can get an individual plan starting at $6.75 per month, which is more affordable than many identity theft protection options. You can view the full price list here.
Zander Insurance claims to cover all types of identity theft and fraud, such as financial, tax, Social Security, medical, etc., with insurance coverage of up to $1 million for stolen funds and expenses.
The service also features data breach updates, lost wallet services, SSN monitoring, address change monitoring, and dark web screening.
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Zander Insurance has a customer rating of 3.28/5. Some users complain that it partners with subpar insurance carriers and has poor customer support.
Despite these flaws, some users reported that they were satisfied with the service and that Zander Insurance acts fast when it comes to fraud protection.
BEST FOR: Seniors looking for full-service solutions
Aura is a company that provides full-service security solutions and claims to cover many bases at once. It offers numerous features that may help seniors protect themselves against identity theft.
Aura offers dark web monitoring, online account scanning, protection against financial fraud, antivirus protection, and even a virtual private network (VPN) to keep your data secure.
Aura also has unique features like lost wallet assistance, ID verification monitoring, and account monitoring. To help protect you against data breaches, it also employs multi-factor identification for all transactions.
The individual plan starts at $12/month, billed annually. You can find the full price list here.
On Aura’s website, it claims to be Security.org’s #1-rated identity theft service. It also has a high rating of 4.8 over 5 stars on TrustPilot, meaning that customers deem it an excellent site.
Many users like Aura’s wide range of protection packages, including individual, couple, and family plans. Because of this, it offers flexibility and coverage for up to five people if you need to protect other family members from identity theft.
Some users complain of poor customer service experience, but customer support is available 24/7. The website has a help center, and you can also contact them at [email protected] or +1 833-552-2123 for your concerns.
BEST FOR: Those looking for a wide range of pricing options
Identity Guard is a company that uses IBM Watson intelligence to check your accounts and monitor the dark web for any suspicious activity that may involve your information. It’s an AI-driven solution that interprets and analyzes data for better accuracy.
Identity Guard features quick alerts and round-the-clock scanning to search the web for threats to your security. It also claims to search the dark web and monitor your credit details and other sensitive information.
This product has a wide range of pricing options, starting at $7.50 per month. You can choose features you need and whether you need an individual or family plan. You may also select between monthly or annual billing.
Identity Guard has a rating of 4.5/5 on TrustPilot, with many users claiming it detected fraud quickly. They’re also happy about the risk management reports being helpful for addressing vulnerabilities.
Despite its good reviews, some customers are unhappy about issues when processing their Identity Guard subscription.
BEST FOR: Those looking for robust investment and credit monitoring
LifeLock can be helpful for seniors seeking investment and credit monitoring, lost wallet services, USPS address modification, and coverage for legal defense and other expenses out of pocket.
LifeLock scans for identity threats and alerts you if suspicious activities arise. Then, an identity restoration specialist will help you resolve ID theft issues.
Some of its key features include alerting you of criminals creating fictitious identities and committing crimes under your name. It also notifies you about data breaches, SSN activity, new financial account attempts, and 401(k) and investment account activities.
The standard plan starts at $7.50/month in the first year, with the more expensive plans being more comprehensive in coverage. It also has a wide range of plan options, which you can view here.
Although it has helpful features, LifeLock does not seem to appeal to many users, as it only has a rating of 1.3/5 on TrustPilot and 1.1/5 on BBB. Many customers complain about delayed actions, unexplained account disconnections, and poor customer support.
BEST FOR: Seniors with jobs or businesses
IdentityForce formally launched in 2005, but the company’s origins go way back to 1978. With over 40 years of experience in the field, IdentityForce claims to be the best and top-rated identity theft protection you can trust.
The company offers real-time alerts, robust encryption for data privacy, and credit reports from credit bureaus TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax for comprehensive security.
One of IdentityForce’s selling points is its business identity protection, which protects financial accounts, tax ID numbers, and sensitive business data. This feature may be helpful for working seniors.
IdentityForce can be pricey, with plans that start at $17.95/month. However, it has excellent reviews, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot. It also has BBB accreditation with an A+ rating.
Many users enjoy the peace of mind that IdentityForce gives because the company checks up on its customers regularly. Some users also report that customer service exercised patience despite the customers not being good with computers.
Some customers, however, report that customer service can take a while to respond. They also report that the iOS app often experiences bugs.
BEST FOR: Offline protection
Credit reporting agency Equifax owns ID Watchdog, and it offers identity theft insurance of up to $1 million.
You can choose which notifications you’d like to receive regarding your accounts.
For your credit reports, you can set up a lock for better control and security from prying eyes. The ID Watchdog Premium plan also covers all three major credit bureaus to help you monitor your credit.
One of the ID Watchdog’s notable features is that its protection goes beyond what goes on online and on the dark web. It also reduces spam calls and junk mail that scammers can use to extort information from seniors.
Plans start at $14.95/month, and ID Watchdog has both individual and family plans. You can view ID Watchdog’s prices and product comparisons here.
ID Watchdog has an A+ rating on its BBB accreditation, with a customer rating of 3.28/5. Many users like the ease of setup and the VPN for safe browsing.
However, customers disliked the lack of free trial and computer security features.
BEST FOR: Public record monitoring
IDShield is an identity theft protection service that offers a 30-day free trial and alerts you about suspicious activity involving your sensitive information. The free trial allows you to try out the services risk-free.
On IDShield’s official website, it claims to provide unique features like social media and credit monitoring, reputation management, and unlimited consultation.
Another selling point of IDShield is that it works with licensed private investigators to help with identity restoration. It also regularly monitors billions of US public records to detect if they involve your information. When there’s a fraud, the private investigators will step in to assist.
If you own a business, IDShield also provides a protection plan for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Once the 30-day free trial is up, IDShield will automatically renew your subscription into a paid one. Plans start as low as $14.95/month.
IDShield has a customer rating of 4 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot, with customers stating they can rest easy knowing that IDShield has their back. They also appreciate working with licensed private investigators and legal teams.
Some users, however, complain about issues working with credit bureaus. Others claim that the customer service representatives they’ve interacted with were unprepared.
BEST FOR: Social Security monitoring
Like ID Watchdog, Experian IdentityWorks also hails from another credit reporting bureau. It offers credit and FICO score monitoring from three major credit bureaus, and it claims to shield users from violations against their sensitive personal data.
IdentityWorks has numerous protective features, such as court record screening, dark web monitoring, change of address alerts, surveillance on financial accounts, and SSN monitoring.
Your Social Security Number is one of the most sensitive pieces of information you can have, and Experian claims to help protect it from criminal use.
Another IdentityWorks feature involves alerting you via SMS or email if a registered sex offender has moved into your neighborhood. This provides you with extra protection outside of identity theft.
Experian IdentityWorks offers a 30-day free trial. In that free trial, you’ll have access to all its features at no cost. Its plans start at $9.99 per month.
Upon our research, Experian IdentityWorks has no customer reviews on trusted sites like TrustPilot or BBB.
Users from numerous online forums, however, report that they’re satisfied with its many features, such as locking and unlocking Experian credit reports. Still, some customers report the lack of 24/7 customer support.
BEST FOR: Covering numerous types of identity theft
MyIDCare provides protection against numerous types of identity theft with a recovery guarantee. It also offers unlimited consultations with experts to help you work through protective and restorative procedures.
MyIDCare features credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. For those with dependent children, MyIDCare also claims to protect them even if they don’t enroll in its services.
Although the website doesn’t outright state its pricing, users state that MyIDCare’s cost differs depending on the level of protection you want to get.
You can sign up for the service if the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) mails you a 25-digit enrollment PIN code, which you need to validate on their enrollment page.
MyIDCare has an A+ accreditation on BBB. Although, it has rather low customer ratings of 2.6 over 5 stars on TrustPilot and 2.69 on BBB. Users often complain of issues regarding registration, login, and fraud alerts.
What should you look for in an identity theft protection service?
An ID theft protection service should be able to cover everything you need. You need reliable monitoring, so it’s essential to understand that different pieces of information require respective monitoring processes.
Apart from monitoring, your ID theft protection provider should also offer insurance coverage. You’ll want your chosen service to offer most of the following aspects—if not all.
|Financial surveillance||This pertains to the process of monitoring all your financial transactions, including investments and transfers to your savings accounts, payday loans, and even 401(k). If suspicious activities arise, the service should notify you immediately.|
|Credit monitoring||Government agencies and financial advisors teach us to keep track of our credit scores religiously, but a good ID theft service can do the credit monitor for you. |
It should detect any changes and activities, keeping you alert at all times without exerting much effort.
|Social security screening||Social security numbers (SSN) remain some of the most stolen pieces of information in the country, which is why a good service provider should offer to monitor your SSN for you. |
Criminals can sell your SSN online, so services should comb through the web for any traces of yours appearing in malicious activities.
|Social media surveillance||Studies suggest that more older adults are joining social media, so it only makes sense to invest in a service that also offers social media monitoring. |
The identity theft protection service should monitor and screen any dark web interference, hacking activities, and other vulnerabilities.
|Identity theft insurance||Should you end up with stolen funds or hacked accounts, it pays to have an additional layer of protection beyond just monitoring. |
You’ll want a service that offers a premium policy for stolen funds reimbursement or perhaps a set emergency fund amount if you fall into scams or credit thefts.
Why do identity thieves often target seniors?
According to the American Journal of Public Health, around 5% of older adults fall victim to scams yearly.
“What’s worse, it’s very likely an underestimate,” said David Brune, a professor at the University of Toronto, “This is most likely because it’s expected that a large percentage of Internet scams go unreported.”
The study further explains that the elderly are often prime targets due to their financial situations—whether it be healthy retirement funds or monthly government stipends and pension checks.
Seniors are also more trusting and often have more limited digital knowledge. Because of this, seniors end up victims of countless schemes and scams.
Common examples of identity theft in seniors
Hackers and identity thieves follow numerous strategies when scamming seniors. Among the most prevalent types of identity theft are the following:
Scammers steal identities online using various methods, but the most prevalent one is phishing, which often happens through email.
Here, seemingly legitimate messages from banks, companies, and other entities request information, such as credit cards, bank accounts, and even SSN.
Scammers ask seniors to “verify” these pieces of personal information by clicking on links, only to “phish” them away for fraudulent activities.
Credit card fraud
Apart from phishing, thieves also rely on credit card offers. They contact seniors with promises of low or zero interest rates, which they can use to shop, splurge, and so on.
Unfortunately, these offers come with requests for personal information and, oftentimes, deposits for a one-time “fee.”
These are scams, but the criminals can trick or threaten seniors into thinking otherwise.
Users also report that seniors also fall victim to contests and prizes offered online, as well as fake investment opportunities.
Theft through health and beauty product offers is also common. Typically, hackers offer these items in exchange for money and information.
Health insurance scams
Unfortunately, hackers can easily access health insurance information online.
Scammers also rely on emails to contact unsuspecting seniors, claiming to be personnel.
They convince seniors to get new cards or upgrade policies, forcing them to hand over their social security numbers to jumpstart the paperwork processing.
Preventing older adults from falling for identity theft scams
Due to an alarming increase of identity theft victims annually, it pays to remain vigilant at all times. No matter your age, make sure to keep the following measures in mind:
Don’t entertain suspicious calls
If someone asks for confidential information such as your credit card CVV, social security number, and bank accounts, remember that you don’t need to provide it, even under threat of legal action or account closure.
Don’t hesitate to hang up the phone immediately, as scammers are likely extorting you for information.
Actual representatives from your banks or credit card companies will never ask for such sensitive information—especially over the phone.
Avoid clicking on suspicious email links and attachments
If you receive a questionable email link or attachment, don’t access it or click on links—even if the message seems like it’s from a reputable source. This is likely a phishing scam, which may cause you to lose your personal information.
Review and monitor
Apart from trusting in an identity theft protection service, we recommend that you regularly check your statements. Go through your bank, credit card, insurance, and retirement statements.
Look for suspicious transactions and if something is amiss, call the agency in question as soon as possible.
Shred old documents
This may be old, but gold: shred your old documents. Don’t simply throw them in the trash.
You should destroy any documents containing your bank balance, social security numbers, healthcare insurance, and other personal information if you’re discarding them.
In doing so, you prevent criminals from sifting through your trash and collecting your information.
The bottom line: Is it worth paying for identity theft protection?
Hackers, scammers, and thieves all fall under a single goal of stealing information for profit.
Seniors are vulnerable to their schemes, as these criminals are knowledgeable enough to take advantage of financial situations and limited digital knowledge. In other words, they know exactly how to steal from you.
So, yes, it’s worth paying for an identity theft protection service. But it also pays to remain well-informed, so keep this guide in mind as you look for the right one that suits your needs.
More importantly, invest in protection beyond the digital world. It’s best to shred your papers, hang up the phone, and monitor your transactions. Don’t let the hackers outsmart you!