Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


ID theft, its Aftermath and Debix AfterCare

In the past, I’ve been opposed to calling impersonation frauds “identity theft.” I’ve wondered why the term impersonation isn’t good enough. As anyone who’s read the ID Theft Resource Center’s ‘ID Theft Aftermath’ reports (2009 report) knows that a lot of the problem with longterm impersonation problems is the psychological impact of disassociation from your good name. It’s not just the financial costs of dealing with mistakes (although those are important), it’s the sense of dread in connecting to today’s society and the reputation infrastructures that have been overlaid onto our lives. It’s the fear of victims that they’re perceived as irrationally fearful, whingers or a burden.

And so I want to quote from a blog post from Debix:

It’s Bo here, CEO of Debix. Today, I’m excited to announce another industry first for Debix – a new feature of our OnCall Credit Monitoring™ product called AfterCare™.

The idea came directly from thousands of conversations with our concerned data breach consumers. The number one complaint we receive is about the gap between the “lifetime risk” the consumer perceives when told their identity is breached, and the 1-2 years of credit monitoring normally offered as a remedy.

We always do our best to explain why it is not feasible to provide 5, 10, 20 year or “lifetime” credit monitoring subscriptions, but none of reasons are very satisfying. It is hard for the consumer to feel good about a remedy where the protection expires quickly but the perceived risk lives on. (Original in Debix blog post.)

That’s why I find Debix’s offer of a lifetime of repair to be so exciting. It’s someone on your side through all of that.

In other news about identity theft, there’s an interesting story about the head of Interpol having his ID stolen via Facebook. In the past, I’d be very skeptical of such a claim, but a great many folks present themselves to the world on Facebook, and:

One of the impersonators used the fake profile to obtain information on fugitives targeted in a recent Interpol-led operation seeking on-the-run criminals convicted of serious offences, including rape and murder.

Identity is hard, and all sorts of interesting stuff emerges from that chaos. Today’s news about AfterCare™ is on the good and interesting side of that.

One comment on "ID theft, its Aftermath and Debix AfterCare"

  • beri says:

    I don’t know about lifetime protection from Debix. I got a “Free subscription” to Debix from my employer when the employer thought my identity had been stolen. I was pleased with the employer’s prompt attention to this matter but less pleased with Debix. I applied for a new credit card but it was several weeks before I got a call from Debix seeking to confirm that it was indeed me applying for that card. In those several weeks, all hell could have broken loose. I’m relieved that hell did not break loose, but I don’t think I’m getting very good protection if it takes that long to notify me.

    [After comments had closed, Debix wrote to me to ask if we could add a response. It is:

    This is Jamie May, Director of Customer Service at Debix. Beri, we appreciate the feedback. I understand your concern and would like to clarify the way OnCall Credit Monitoring alerts are triggered. The alert you received was an indication that a new account posted to your credit file, and it can take up to several weeks to report new accounts. Debix notifies you of new accounts posted to your credit file within 24 hours. If your alert indicates fraud, a licensed OnCall Investigator will be assigned to your case to ensure any fraudulent activity is removed from your credit file(s), and that your information is returned to its pre-fraud state. If you would like to discuss your account, or have any other questions, please feel free to contact our customer service team at 1-888-332-4963.]

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