What is identity theft?
Identity theft is the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief to obtain goods, services, and/or employment; commit a crime; gain a benefit; or prevent revealing the thief’s real identity.
PII includes but may not be limited to a consumer’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate, student transcript, or medical record.
How do thieves get my personal information?
There are numerous ways that thieves can obtain personally identifiable information (PII). Examples include:
- Stealing physical items such as mail, wallet/purse, smartphone, trash, etc.
- Stealing digital data as when a business computer system is breached, your computer is tainted with malware or a skimmer is placed on a payment card reader.
- Gathering personal information from social networks and data aggregator websites.
- Phishing schemes – tricks to get you to reveal information.
Are pre-existing issues covered?
Most pre-existing identity theft events are not covered under the full restoration benefit. However, our plans can still provide valuable protection and support.
Benefits such as unlimited consultation with an identity theft expert to help you deal with pre-existing identity theft, help placing a fraud alert on your credit accounts and ongoing monitoring to track any new issues provide critical support when you need it most.
If you’ve already experienced identity theft, join immediately and contact our Licensed Private Investigators to prevent additional damage to your finances and reputation.
How does the 30-day free trial work and what is your cancellation policy?
Sign up today and pay nothing for the first 30 days. If you cancel your plan before 30 days, you’ll be charged nothing. If you choose to continue beyond 30 days, your first month is still free and you’ll be charged starting the second month of your membership.
Your membership can be cancelled any time by sending written notice to IDShield. Please see your membership benefits for cancellation instructions specific to your plan, or you can call/email Member Services at 800-654-7757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Important: Your membership and payment remain active until written notice is received.
What is 1 bureau (1B) vs. 3 bureau (3B) monitoring?
“1B” and “3B” monitoring refers to the number of credit bureaus being monitored (the credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, Experian).
Offering 1-bureau monitoring allows us to keep costs of the IDShield product low and still monitor important data. One-bureau monitoring is effective because it is rare that credit-related identity theft is limited to one event and that one event is reported to only one credit bureau. Most of the time all three credit reports will be affected to some extent allowing 1-bureau monitoring to be effective to alert the member to an issue.
With our 3 bureau monitoring plans, IDShield monitors credit reports across all three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Lenders, creditors and many businesses check and submit data that ends up on your credit reports. But not all report to the same credit bureau. By watching all three bureaus, IDShield provides comprehensive monitoring. If changes or inquiries are made, participants will receive an instant alert.
It is important to note that when identity theft is confirmed, the restoration process deals with ALL THREE national credit reporting agencies, so that all of the member’s reports are reviewed and any fraudulent information on the reports is disputed.
How do I know if I’ve been a victim of identity theft?
Sometimes a consumer may think identity theft has occurred when it may not actually have. If there is an account on your credit report that you did not authorize, it is possible that an identity thief used your information to create an account or it could simply be the result of a credit reporting error. You can prove you’re a victim of identity theft if you can confirm that your Social Security number or other key piece of your Personally Identifiable Information was used to open a credit card account, obtain a loan, submit health care information or similar unauthorized activity. IDShield members have unlimited consultation with Licensed Private Investigators if they have any questions or concerns regarding the status of their identity.
How does identity theft restoration work?
IDShield has Licensed Private Investigators to provide the best identity restoration possible and undo the damage done by identity thieves. Our IDShield Licensed Private Investigators will work for as long as it takes to restore a member’s identity to its pre-theft status to ensure that they are not held responsible for the debts created by the identity thief. By performing comprehensive restoration services, consumer reports are returned to their pre-theft status and other records are cleared of the activity created by the identity thief.
How does monitoring protect me from identity theft?
Credit report monitoring in itself does not prevent identity theft. However, it’s a tool that can alert you to activity that may indicate identity theft is being attempted or has taken place. If you learn someone used your data to apply for credit, you’ll take steps to prevent future misuse of your data.
Who is covered by the family plan?
The participant, their spouse/partner and all dependent children under the age of 18. Note that monitoring services are not available for dependent children ages 18-26 but dependent children of the member or members spouse ages 18-26 are eligible for consultation and restoration services only.
Is identity theft the same as credit card fraud?
Identity theft is much more than credit card fraud. It’s the fraudulent use of personally identifiable information (PII) by a thief for the purpose of obtaining goods, services, and/or employment, committing a crime, gaining a benefit or hiding a real identity. It can include a consumer’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, address, driver’s license number, telephone number, passport information, birth certificate information, student transcript data and medical record information.
If I have a bad credit score, do I need to worry about identity theft?
Remember, identity theft is not limited to credit fraud. In fact, credit-related identity theft accounts for only a small amount of the identity theft incidents reported to the FTC each year.
Someone can misuse your driver’s license number, make counterfeit checks using your personal information, use your identity to rent an apartment or apply for a payday loan, or give your name and other identifiers to the police if they’re arrested. These activities and others have nothing to do with your credit history.
What is the dark web?
Often confused with the “deep web” which is simply those parts of the internet not indexed by any search engine, the “dark web” includes those sites that take measures to hide their IP address to remain anonymous. The most notorious sites on the dark web are those with illegal activities such as the sale of stolen information (think credit/debit card data and personal identifiers that can be used to commit identity theft), drug sales, weapon sales and pornography. If you ever must visit the dark web, you should consider dark web monitoring first.
What is credit or debit card fraud?
Credit and debit card fraud, sometimes referred to as “existing account fraud,” occurs when a thief steals information on an existing account and then uses it to make use of that account, such as for making unauthorized purchases.
In contrast, “new account fraud” happens when the thief uses the victim’s personally identifiable information to establish an entirely new account of which the victim has no knowledge.
How is a credit score different from a credit report?
Your credit score is a numerical representation of the history of credit use found in your credit report. Your credit report lists the details of your credit history, which can include creditor names, addresses, loan amounts, credit limits, payments made on time or past due, and amount of monthly payments.
If there is an account on my credit report I did not open, does that prove identity theft?
No. Many reports contain errors. If you find an account on your credit report you don’t recognize, call that creditor and ask them to tell you whether there is an account that was opened with the use of your personal identifying information, particularly, your Social Security number.
How can I get my free credit report?
Why do I get different credit scores from different credit sources?
Although most credit reports contain the same information, there is a chance that one credit report might have data that a different credit-reporting agency doesn’t have. If you get credit scores that are each based on a different credit report, you could see different credit scores.
Someone used my Social Security number, can I get a new one?
It’s unlikely the Social Security Administration will issue a new number for limited identity theft. In fact, getting a new Social Security number would probably create a new set of problems for you. Remember that your Social Security number is connected to your employment, tax, education and medical records. Seeking a new Social Security number is only considered in extreme situations.
If someone has used your Social Security number, the best first step is to sign up for IDShield and let our systems and licensed investigators protect your identity from further abuse and develop a plan to secure your accounts.
I placed a fraud alert, is that enough protection?
A fraud alert is a statement on your credit report indicating that you’re vulnerable to becoming a victim or have been a victim of identity theft. It asks a credit reviewer to take reasonable extra steps to verify the identity of the applicant, reducing the chance a thief will succeed in opening new accounts.
While fraud alerts are a great tool, they should not be considered complete protection. There are many other ways thieves can use your personal identification information to steal money and commit fraud beyond credit cards, such as filing false tax returns or initiating fraudulent transfers from your bank accounts, which fraud alerts to do not protect against.
What is LegalShield?
LegalShield has been providing legal service plans to North American families for over 40 years. Our customers can access legal counsel and advice from qualified lawyers simply by calling a toll-free number. Many other benefits are included, but even at the most basic level our plans allow you to have peace of mind.
Does my membership cover wills?
Yes, your membership covers Wills for you, your spouse and eligible family dependents.
What law firm will provide my legal services?
LegalShield has arranged for you to have access to an accomplished law firm available to handle your legal needs. Law firms have been screened, are monitored daily, and are ready to handle your legal matters with the care and concern you deserve.
What is covered under a LegalShield Legal Plan?
Access a variety of legal services including: advice on unlimited issues, letters or calls made on your behalf, contract and document review (up to 15 pages each) and more. Review a plan contract for complete terms, coverage, amounts, conditions and exclusions.
Does my membership cover uncontested divorce?
Yes, we cover uncontested divorce (available 90 consecutive days from the effective date of your membership).
Does it cost more to add my spouse or dependents?
No. Your spouse and eligible dependents are covered under your family membership.
Who is covered under my LegalShield Legal Plan Family Membership?
The following are covered:
- The member
- The member’s spouse
- Never-married dependent children of the member or member’s spouse who are under 26 and living at home
- Children under age 18 for whom the member or member’s spouse is the legal guardian
- Full-time never-married students under 26 years old if the student is a dependent of the member or member’s spouse
- Any dependent child, regardless of age, who is incapable of sustaining employment because of mental or physical disability and who is chiefly dependent on the member or member’s spouse for support.
Note: Certain benefits may be available for the member and/or the member’s spouse only. Be sure to check the specific contract in your state.
What level of contact will I have with my lawyer if I am a LegalShield member?
It depends on your legal matter/situation. When you contact your Provider Law Firm, explain your legal situation and they will have a lawyer call you within 4 business hours. Once you speak directly with your lawyer, he/she will be able to determine what legal assistance is needed for your specific situation.
How do I gain access to my legal plan benefits?
After you have signed up for a LegalShield legal plan, you will receive a welcome email. It will contain the instructions to login to accounts.legalshield.com and download the LegalShield mobile app. Or you can call your provider law firm’s 800 number to open an intake for your legal matter.
What is a Provider Law Firm?
LegalShield provides access to dedicated law firms that employ 1,900 lawyers across the U.S. and Canada, plus an additional 5,000 referral lawyers. The lawyers have been with their respective law firms for an average of 20 years and have a range of experience. This allows them to advise members through a variety of everyday legal issues such as family matters, estate planning, financial issues, consumer/credit protection, tax, real estate, benefits disputes and auto/driving issues.
How do I contact my Provider Law Firm?
Members can call their law firm right from the LegalShield mobile app. (Apple and Android) Or you can call your law firm by dialing the toll-free number on the front of your membership card. A customer service representative will ask you what type of legal matter you have, verify your address and phone numbers (parties involved in your matter) and forward your information to the appropriate lawyer at your provider law firm.
Will I work with the same lawyer for every legal matter?
LegalShield takes the selection of our Provider Law Firms very seriously. While you may not work with the same lawyer for every legal issue you have, you will work with the same Provider Law Firm, so you can be assured that you are receiving quality service with any of their lawyers.
What happens if my legal issue falls outside of my covered benefits?
You may continue to use your Provider Lawyer for legal situations that extend beyond plan coverage. The additional services are at least 25% off the law firm’s standard hourly rates. Your Provider Lawyer will let you know when the discount applies, and go over these fees with you.
How can I pay for my membership?
Legal service plans offer a variety of legal services from a network of lawyers for a low monthly rate. Prices and coverage vary depending on the plan you select. We accept the following payment methods:
- Monthly bank draft
- Annual bank draft
- Monthly credit card
- Annual credit card
Due to the subscription nature of our business, we do not accept prepaid credit cards.
What is a legal service plan?
Legal service plans offer a variety of legal services from a network of lawyers for a low monthly rate. Prices and coverage vary depending on the plan you select.
Does my membership cover trusts?
A trust can be established under the 25% preferred member discount.
What is the LegalShield service area?
LegalShield’s proprietary system of Provider Law Firms covers the entire United States and all of Canada. Plan coverage varies depending on the plan you select.
Does my membership cover tax audits?
Yes, we cover tax audits.
Does my membership cover immigration?
A LegalShield membership provides consultation and a discount on other legal services related to immigration issues. Please contact your provider law firm to discuss your benefits and options.
Does my membership cover speeding tickets?
Yes, we can give legal assistance with speeding tickets.
How do I choose a lawyer?
With LegalShield, you don’t have to. There’s no stressing, no guessing. For assistance, members simply call their provider law firm and explain their situation. Their call will then be promptly returned by a lawyer knowledgeable in that particular area of law.
How can I save money with a LegalShield membership?
The membership fee is significantly less than paying the standard hourly rate at a traditional law firm. Also, instead of ignoring a situation where you’ve been wronged, you can affordably and easily consult a lawyer.
How can LegalShield offer such a low monthly fee?
They harness the power of collective buying. Thanks to the company’s large membership base, LegalShield is able to collectively pool its low membership fees together to partner with law firms in their high-quality, proprietary network across the United States and Canada.
Why do I need a Will?
Everyone knows that they need a Will. However, some people believe they can’t afford one or that it’s not a priority to keep it updated. LegalShield makes it easy and affordable to keep your estate planning up to date.
What is your cancellation policy?
How do I update my billing info?
You can update your billing info by contacting Member Services at 1-800-654-7757 from 7am-7pm CST Monday through Friday, or online at accounts.legalshield.com. Just log in, go to Account Settings, and select the plan you’d like to update. Then scroll down to Member Payment Information and select Edit.
What is my membership number?
Most LegalShield membership numbers start with 100 or 101 and are 11 digits long. Look for your number at accounts.legalshield.com, on the LegalShield mobile app, or by contacting Member Services at 1-800-654-7757 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
How can I access my legal team in an emergency?
Access after-hours legal consultation for covered legal emergencies such as an arrest or detainment, if you’re seriously injured, or if you’re served with a warrant. Just call 1-877-825-3797 to speak to a representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also log in to the LegalShield Mobile App and select Emergency Legal Access to make your call.
How do I reinstate my membership?
You may request reinstatement at any time by contacting your LegalShield Associate or Member Services at 1-800-654-7757. Member Services is available from 7 am – 7 pm CST Monday-Friday.
Is LegalShield a scam?
LegalShield has been in business for over 45 years, has over 4.5 million members and has been praised by national media outlets like Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Huffpost, Law 360 and The Hill. You can learn more about our history by visiting How LegalShield Works.
Our associates love LegalShield for two main reasons. First, members get effective legal help from experienced lawyers for an affordable monthly fee and rave about the service. As such, associates feel good about promoting LegalShield to their friends, families and acquaintances. Second, associates enjoy one of the most generous and lucrative multi-level marketing programs available. LegalShield has paid out over one BILLION dollars to it’s associates in the last 10 years alone.
LegalShield operates in a highly regulated industry and is most certainly not a scam. As further proof of our commitment to offering excellent products and programs, all LegalShield memberships are delivered under a month-to-month agreement.
We encourage you to read more about our organization on this website and talk to current members and associates about their experience with LegalShield. If you’re considering joining as an associate, attend a live event to get a true taste of what our company is all about. We look forward to meeting you.
Will LegalShield represent you in court?
The short answer is yes. All LegalShield memberships include benefits that allow your lawyer to represent you in court at a substantial savings over hiring a lawyer directly. If you have a more complex situation, you can always hire your lawyer to represent you in court for 25% off their standard hourly fees.
For specific information on which plan benefits apply to your circumstances, we encourage you to review our coverage detail pages or contact customer support at 1.855.629.4338 to get a quick answer.
Personal Plan Coverage Details
Small Business Plan Coverage Details
Does LegalShield handle criminal cases?
One way or the other, LegalShield plans cover most legal situations. You can call your lawyer for advice on any legal issue, including criminal cases. Also, your lawyer can review documents and provide feedback related to criminal cases for no additional fee.
Should you need a lawyer to represent you in criminal court, you can hire them for 25% off their standard hourly rates. No matter the situation, being a LegalShield member will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on whatever type of legal support you need.
If you’ve been arrested or otherwise have concerns about a criminal case, we strongly suggest becoming a member today. You can be on the phone with a criminal lawyer in 4 hours or less (after initial contact), and get the advice you need to reduce your stress and figure out the next best steps to protect your rights and freedom.
Will LegalShield handle uncontested divorces? What about contested divorces?
Representation for an uncontested divorce, separation or annulment is included in your standard plan benefits for no additional fee. Your lawyer will manage the process for you.
During a contested divorce, you can call your lawyer for legal advice, have them review documents and even make phone calls and write letters on your behalf. If you want your lawyer to handle the negotiation of a settlement agreement or represent you at trial, you are covered by your plan’s 25% hourly rate discount benefit.
Is Prepaid Legal still around?
Yes. Prepaid Legal changed its name to LegalShield on September 10, 2011. While our name changed, we’re the same organization and offer an even more robust suite of services than we did just a few years ago. We’re always working to improve the value of a LegalShield membership.
Does LegalShield help with child custody?
Yes. Like with most legal issues, you can always call a provider lawyer for advice about child custody. Also, your lawyer can review child custody-related documents and even make phone calls and write letters on your behalf.
If you need more robust representation, you can hire your lawyer to handle child custody negotiations or court cases for 25% off their standard hourly fees. No matter the circumstances, a LegalShield membership can save a ton of money on legal services to help you with child custody issues.