2010 Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard: Market Challenges, Consolidations and the Move Toward “Whole Identity”

2010 Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard
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With identity fraud on the rise and consumer education a priority, it becomes increasingly important to recognize current trends in identity protection offerings, customer behaviors, and vendor differentiation. In Javelin’s fourth annual report on identity fraud protection services, 24 ID protection products are scored, and the changes and evolutions in the market within the past year are evaluated. Identity protection service solutions include those offered by Affinion/Trilegiant/Cendent, Bearak Reports, Citigroup, Debix, Equifax, Experian/ Consumerinfo.com, EZShield, First Advantage Membership Services, ID Watchdog, ID Experts, IdentityTruth, Intelius, Intersections, LifeLock, TransUnion, and TrustedID. While a few companies are focusing on one area (credit monitoring or personal information monitoring), the majority are embracing a comprehensive “whole identity” approach by providing both credit and personal information monitoring in one service. The number of firms in the identity fraud market is expected to contract over the next five years as the poor economy affects consumer adoption and the differentiation between offerings diminishes.

Primary Questions:

  • As a result of the economy, how has the identity protection services market size changed?
  • What new trends in service features are offered by identity protection service companies?
  • What are the best identity protection service companies?
  • What is the level of satisfaction among subscribers?
  • How many subscriptions does the typical consumer have? What is the typical cost paid by consumers?
  • What threat do peer‐to‐peer services bring to identity fraud?
  • How are identity fraud protection vendors partnering with security vendors?
  • How are identity fraud protection vendors monitoring medical health records?
  • What protections exist for children and families?


Vendors were able to receive a possible 100 points: 40 for services criteria, 30 for resolution, 20 for support, and 10 for price and Better Business Bureau accreditation. Products from the 16 companies reviewed were ranked and assessed according to the following groups: personal information monitoring/credit monitoring, financial institution offerings, credit bureau offerings and single product offerings. Points were awarded for the breadth of services not the quality of each service.

For services offered, identity protection solutions were scored whether or not they offered the following: one‐time credit history, credit bureau report updates, credit bureau scores, credit monitoring at bureaus (more points available if two or all three bureaus were monitored), and daily credit monitoring (as opposed to weekly or monthly — this is different from how often customers are alerted). Companies received credit for alerts sent to customers via phone, e‐mail, SMS, and mail. Points were granted if the provider offered discounts for antivirus or if children or family were included in the same plan, or if the account had access to a financial manager (online dashboard/platform). Medical ID fraud protection was also added to the scorecard this year. Vendors also received credit if they offered subscribers ID Vault or Trusteer because these products provide consumer safety against man‐in the‐browser threats. Internet scanning and public records scanning were evaluated separately, with points given to vendors who include these services.

Resolution features included in this year’s scorecard are as follows: 24/7 resolution services, having a team of trained resolution specialists, as well as the ability to be assigned to a dedicated resolution specialist that handles a case from start to finish. Service and insurance guarantees were also evaluated, with more emphasis given to insurance guarantees as they provide consumers with better and more comprehensive insurance and protection. Credit was also given if the insurance provided was deductible‐free and if the company was backed by a third‐party insurer and/or offered traveler’s insurance (providing the customer with tickets or accommodations when they are overseas). Traveler’s lost‐wallet assistance (customer protection specifically in place for travel) and lostwallet assistance were additional resolution features scored.

For support, identity protection solutions were evaluated on the customer’s ability to log in and check the status of their account/ subscription online. Vendors received points for providing identity theft education on their website, having the ability to send identity theft education through e‐mail, removing customers or assisting them (by providing contact information) off junk mail and preapproved credit offer lists, and having an unlimited, toll‐free customer service number.

Price and the BBB: Up to 10 points were given based on the annual cost of the solution and rating information about the company provided by the Better Business Bureau.

In this year's report, Javelin worked with the national Better Business Bureau and incorporated its ratings as of September 7, 2010, into our final results. The BBB looks at the number of complaints, size of business, seriousness of the complaints, as well as time in business among other criteria. This results in a composite score from the BBB ranging from A+ to D‐. Companies that might have scored well under Javelin's criteria alone could lose points if the BBB finds a history of complaints and poor service. Conversely, companies that do not have as many services might benefit if the BBB rates them as having a sterling reputation. Companies not accredited (i.e., non‐members) by the BBB also lose some points. And companies that rated a C or a D received penalty points for not working with consumers to adequately address their complaints.

More Information

Preview of 2010 Annual Identity Protection Services Scorecard

Companies Mentioned

Affinion Identity Truth
Bearak Reports Intelius
BearShare Intersections
Better Business Bureau Kazaa
BitTorrent LifeLock
ZoneAlarm LimeWire
Debix McAfee
Equifax Norton
Experian ProtectMyID
EZShield Symantec
First Advantage TJX
Heartland Payment Systems TransUnion
ID Experts Trilegiant
ID Vault TrustedID
ID Watchdog Trusteer
Identity Guard

Download Sample Report

Please fill out form to receive a copy of our 1027.R.B - ID Fraud Protection Scorecard Sample Report.