I reached out to Credit Karma to see if they were planning to offer a similar service to their customers. They replied that identity theft protection was not a service that they were planning to offer. In their own words, “We don’t have that on the roadmap right now, but we’ve always got something brewing. Stay tuned!!”
Credit Karma has recently taken hits on several sides. Credit card companies like Discover have instantly become a new competitor by moving into their core business of offering free credit scores to consumers. They had to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over their unsecure mobile app, which could have allowed hackers to obtain sensitive financial information such as credit card & report details, birth dates, customer’s names, credit scores, email & home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers. Now one of their main competitors is offering a new, free service that they have no plans to also offer.
The entire free credit score business has seen dramatic changes in the last six months, with more changes to come as new players move into the space, and those already in it attempt to stay relevant. Credit Karma choosing not to offer no-cost identity theft protection and insurance gives one of their competitors an easy and effective way to differentiate themselves by offering something more.
Adrian Nazari, CEO at Credit Sesame, says that this latest free offer allows their customers to complete the the final piece of the equation when it comes to their credit information by allowing them to protect it. “Credit Sesame customers can now access, analyze, monitor and protect their credit all in one place and at no cost with our service,” he said.
The free service gives those who sign up $50,000 worth of identity theft insurance. The insurance doesn’t cover actual money or valuables lost to identity theft, but covers the costs associated with clearing up the mess that identity theft can cause. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the following expenses:
- Lost wages
- Mailing costs
- Notary costs
- Obtaining credit report costs
- Phone costs
Those who are already signed up with Credit Sesame and have opted in for their free credit monitoring service have automatically been enrolled into the identity theft protection service.
It’s important to remember that identity theft protection won’t be able to protect you from actual identity theft. It may be able to help you spot identity theft taking place earlier than you might have discovered it on your own, and it’ll give you some support while you go through the process of trying to clean up the mess that identity theft does to your finances.
For this reason, it’s vital to take simple steps that can help prevent identity theft happening in the first place. These steps won’t guarantee that it won’t happen to you, but it will make the likelihood of it happening much less.
(Photo courtesy of B Rosen)