Frequently Asked Questions

IDENTITY THEFT FAQs

General Questions

What is a Fraud Alert?

  • A Fraud Alert is a 90 day flag that sits on your credit report notifying lenders that you may be a victim of identity theft, and will request lenders verify additional information before granting credit in your name.
  • Experian and the other national credit reporting companies share Fraud Security Alerts when requested by a consumer. By contacting one of the credit reporting companies, the alert will be added automatically by the others.
  • SAMPLE OF SECURITY ALERT STATEMENT – “Fraudulent applications may be submitted in my name or my identity may have been used without my consent to fraudulently obtain goods or services. Do not extend credit without first verifying the identity of the applicant. I can be reached at _____________. This Security Alert will be maintained for 90 days beginning 01-01-01.”

How do I add a Fraud Alert?

What is a Security Freeze?

  • A Security Freeze is a permanent freeze of your credit file that can only be lifted by a PIN established by the consumer when the freeze is added. Lenders and creditors will not be able to access your credit file.
    • Note: a Security Freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of applications you make regarding a new loan, employment, mortgage applications, etc.
  • There may be a cost associated with the Security Freeze based on your state.
  • If you place or remove a security freeze on your file, it is not automatically shared with other credit reporting agencies. You will need to contact each credit bureau separately if you wish to freeze your file with them.

How do I add a Security Freeze?

You can visit Experian.com/freeze to learn more about adding a Security Freeze on your credit report

Contact Information:

What is the enrollment process like?

Enrolling in Complete ID takes just minutes. During the enrollment process, you will be asked to supply some brief personal information so we can confirm that it is secure and monitor the right data.

How do you keep my information safe?

We maintain a highly secure environment with best-in-class security measures and policies in place to ensure the utmost secure handling of all data.

What is the Federal Trade Commission?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces a variety of federal antitrust and consumer protection laws, including the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that regulates consumer credit reporting agencies, those who use credit reports, and those who furnish information to consumer credit reporting agencies. The FTC ensures that all three parties (consumers, consumer credit reporting agencies, and lenders) are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

The FTC’s mission is to help the nation’s markets function competitively and efficiently, unhampered by needless restrictions. It works to spotlight and eliminate acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. In general, the FTC tries to stop actions that threaten consumers’ opportunities to exercise informed choice. It also performs economic analyses, when asked, to support its law enforcement efforts and to contribute to the policy as set forth by Congress, the Executive Branch, other independent agencies, and state and local governments.

In addition to carrying out its statutory enforcement responsibilities, the FTC advances the policies underlying Congressional mandates through cost-effective non-enforcement activities, such as consumer education.

Breach Questions

What is a breach?

A data breach is an incident where personally identifiable information (PII), such as an individual’s name and social security number, driver’s license number, medical record or financial record is potentially put at risk because of exposure.

How do breaches happen?

Breaches most commonly happen through a cyber hack. Cyber criminals, typically aiming to profit off of stolen credentials, either hack into a user’s account with a login and password, trick a user into downloading malicious software, or otherwise gain access to a company or consumer’s internal data. Other causes of breaches include insider theft, accidental exposure, third party breach, or employee negligence.

How common are breaches?

Unfortunately breaches are on the rise, particularly for the business and medical industries. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports that the number of U.S. data breaches tracked hit a record high of 783 in 2014, representing a hike of 27.5% over the number of breaches reported in 2013.

What personal information is generally taken when a breach occurs?

Generally, personal information like name, email, passwords, social security number, driver’s license number, medical record, and financial information like debit and credit card numbers are taken when a breach occurs.

If personal information is taken in a breach, will it be used for identity theft?

Not necessarily, but consumers should take measures to ensure their PII is not used maliciously. Complete ID enables them to do that.

Identity Theft Questions

What is Identity Theft?

You may have heard of identity theft, but what does this term really mean? Going far beyond credit card fraud, identity theft is a rapidly growing crime that most people will face at some point in their lives. Identity theft is officially defined as the deliberate assumption of another person’s identity. It is a crime where a criminal acquires and uses the victim’s personal information, such as a Social Security or driver’s license number, to take out loans, obtain new credit cards, rent an apartment, purchase a car, run up debt, file for bankruptcy and other criminal activities. Identity theft can not only damage someone’s creditworthiness, it can also create unknown criminal records that can result in the identity theft victim being wrongly arrested or denied employment after a routine background check.

How is identity theft different from financial fraud?

The term “financial fraud” covers common credit card, check, and debit card fraud. When a criminal uses your credit cards or debit cards to make a purchase, he or she usually hasn’t assumed your identity. Recovering from financial fraud is relatively easy, since most creditors don’t hold you liable for fraudulent charges.

How can I tell if I am a victim of identity theft?

Use Complete ID to monitor both your financial and public record information and look for:

  • Unfamiliar criminal records, court records, address information or bankruptcies
  • Unexplained charges or withdrawals
  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. This may signal an address change by the identity thief
  • Being served court papers or arrest warrants for actions you did not commit
  • Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply
  • Being denied credit for no apparent reason
  • Receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy

Although any of these indications could be a result of a simple clerical error, you should not assume that there’s been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution to find out

What should I do if I believe I am a victim of identity theft?

Complete ID members may contact Member Services at 1-855-591-0202 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days a year.

Premium Identity Protection is Now Complete ID

Why the change to Complete ID?

Complete ID better encompasses what we’re all about – providing complete, comprehensive identity protection services to individuals at an affordable price.

Is the provider behind Premium Identity Protection changing with the rebranding to Complete ID?

No, the provider is not changing, and the identity protection services provided to you will remain the same.

Does Complete ID include the same identity protection services as Premium Identity Protection?

Yes, the identity protection services included in Complete ID are exactly the same as those in Premium Identity Protection.

Is Complete ID still provided at the same price as Premium Identity Protection?

Yes, Complete ID is available for the exclusive price of $8.99/month for Costco Executive members, and $13.99/month for Costco Gold Star members. Non-Costco members can enjoy Complete ID for $19.99/month.

Annual 3B Credit Reports and Scores1

What should I do if I see a mistake on my credit report?

Complete ID members may contact Member Services at 1-855-591-0202 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days a year.

Why is there a difference between my three scores?

Your credit score may be different among the 3 credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® – because each bureau is independent and contains unique data regarding your credit history. Lenders are not required to report to or inquire with all 3 bureaus, therefore, it is possible that you may have more credit inquiries or delinquencies on file with one bureau as opposed to another, which may impact your credit score.

What time range does my initial credit report cover?

Your credit report includes data from the date your credit file was first established.

What does it mean if I see big changes in my credit score from month to month?

Every reported item on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. If your score has changed significantly since the last month, it may be due to the fact that an account was not reported for the month or an item has been added to or removed from your report. Drastic changes in account balances and opening new lines of credit could also significantly impact your score.

What credit score algorithm does Complete ID use?

Your Complete ID subscription includes credit scores generated using the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm. Using the 300 to 850 scoring range, VantageScore® is used by thousands of lenders to assess the creditworthiness of customers for activities such as applying for loans, credit cards, and mortgages.

How are my credit scores calculated?

Your monthly credit score is calculated by applying the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm to the data stored within your Experian credit report. Your annual credit score is calculated by applying the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm to the data stored within your 3-Bureau report (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). Complete ID uses VantageScore because it was created jointly by the three credit bureaus in order to provide consistency and the ability to score a broad population.

Why is one or all three of my credit scores different from a credit score I received from another identity protection provider?

Complete ID utilizes the VantageScore 3.0 model. However, in general, lenders and other identity protection providers use a variety of scoring models other than the one that was used to calculate your score. It is possible that the other identity protection provider utilized a different scoring model.

What is the VantageScore 3.0 algorithm?

There are many unique credit score formulas (or algorithms) used by credit bureaus and identity protection providers. VantageScore was jointly created by the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) in 2006 with the goal of providing consistent scores across their reports. Now on the 3.0 version, VantageScore uses information in your credit report to produce a score that ranges from 300 to 850. VantageScore is used by thousands of lenders to assess the creditworthiness of customers for activities such as applying for loans, credit cards, and mortgages.

3B Credit Monitoring

What is Tri-Bureau Credit Monitoring?

Tri-Bureau Credit Monitoring includes monitoring of changes reported to all three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Changes monitored include personal information, public records, inquiries, new account openings, and existing accounts reported past due.

How often is my credit monitored?

Credit bureau notifications are generated through consistent monitoring, and are distributed daily via email.

Internet Surveillance

Where does Internet surveillance data come from?

This data comes from public and criminal Internet properties including forums and websites, IRC channels, search engine queries, social networks, peer-to-peer sources, hidden and anonymous web services, malware samples, botnets, and torrent sources.

What time range does my Identity Status Check cover?

Your first status check will include data from the previous 8 years. This means that the Internet surveillance tool searches the prior 8 years of data records for a match to the personal information we are monitoring for you.

What does it mean when I receive a notification?

Complete ID tracks Internet activity for signs that the personal information you’ve asked us to monitor is being traded or sold. If our surveillance technology has discovered information on the Internet that is a match to your monitored identity elements, you will be notified and provided with clear instruction about what to do next.

What if the notification references only some of the personal information Complete ID is tracking?

It is safe to assume that if some of your information is compromised, all of it is. Even if only some of your personal information has been detected, it is recommended that you contact support — and/or immediately make a change to your account information yourself, if possible. For example, immediately change the password to your email account, and call us.

What data will be monitored?

The data that can be monitored includes:

  • 3 email addresses
  • Social Security Number
  • 3 Phone Numbers
  • 10 Credit/Debit Cards
  • 5 Bank Accounts
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Passport
  • 5 Store/Membership Cards
  • 2 Medical ID Numbers

Mail Change Alerts

Where does Mail Change Alerts data come from?

Mail Change Alerts watches for changes in address that have been processed through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Mail Change Alerts does not include UPS or FedEx-only addresses or private mailboxes.

Neighborhood Watch

What records does Neighborhood Watch search for my personal information?

Sex offender records are generated from entries from each state’s sex offender registries. Our data is only as accurate as the information that is publicly available by the individual state. These registries span a database of over 1.8 million records from 49 states as well as Washington DC, Native American reservations, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Mississippi does not allow access to its records, but information about sex offenders in this state are still included in our database when offenders have moved there from other states.

Are all sex offenders required to register?

Not all criminals convicted of a sex-related offense are required to register. However, sex offenders who were not ordered to register would still appear in a criminal records database, and could have an offense description indicating a sex crime.

How often is my Neighborhood Watch report updated?

Your Neighborhood Watch report is updated monthly. If there is a change in the data returned at this time, you will receive an alert.

What if I see my name used by an offender in the Neighborhood Watch report?

False matches in this report can occur as a result of an individual having the same name and/or date of birth as you. This may also indicate that a sex offender has used your name or personal information to register.

A false match can usually be resolved by calling the relevant courthouse to make sure the records in question belong to another individual. If the courthouse confirms that the records in question relate to your identity – usually done by confirming your SSN or driver’s license number – and you have not been convicted of a sex crime, you may be a victim of identity theft. If you are concerned, please contact customer support.

Bank Account Takeover Watch

What records does Bank Account Takeover Watch search for my personal information?

Your personal information is monitored daily against activity from a comprehensive, cross-industry database. The service has access to thousands of financial institutions across all 50 states which includes national and regional banks and credit unions.

What is Bank Account Takeover Watch monitoring, and how soon will I receive an alert if my personal information is found compromised?

This service monitors your name and SSN, and will notify you daily if unusual or high-risk activity is detected. If detected, you will receive the following alerts:

  • Bank Account Opening Notification – If your personal information has been used to open a new bank account.
  • Bank Account Takeover Notification – If changes have been made to your existing bank account, including changes to the account holder’s personal information or attempts to add new account holders.

Credit Card Application Flagging and Checking and Savings Account Application Alerts

What records do these services search for my personal information?

Your personal information is monitored daily against activity from a comprehensive, cross-industry database. The service has access to thousands of financial institutions across all 50 states which includes national and regional banks and credit unions.

What are these services, and how soon will I receive a notification if my personal information is found compromised?

This service monitors your name and SSN, and will notify you daily if unusual or high-risk activity is detected. If detected, you will receive the following alerts:

  • Credit Card Application Notification – If your personal information has been used to apply for a new credit card account.
  • Credit Card Opening Notification– If your personal information has been used to open a new credit card account.
  • Bank Account Application Notification– If your personal information has been used to apply for a bank account.

Criminal Records Monitoring

Why doesn’t my Criminal Records Monitoring status check have any information in it?

This is usually a good thing! It means that we didn’t find a match to your personal information in our court records data. This may be due to one of the following:

  • Your identity has not been stolen for the purpose of committing a crime
  • Your court records have been expunged or your court records have not yet been updated in the public records database
  • You have never been convicted of a crime

What records does Criminal Records Monitoring search?

Criminal Records Monitoring searches court records and jail bookings data sourced from the following places:

  • Over 509 million records mapping to federal, state, city, and county level jurisdictions
  • Over 60 million incarceration records spread across 2,100 police organizations covering over 70% of national bookings
  • 99 million Department of Corrections (DOC) parole, probation, and incarceration records
  • Over 4.9 million warrant records. 98 county, state and city level warrants reporting 664 of 3,248 counties in 50 states and Puerto Rico
  • Over 9 million arrest records
  • Over 330 thousand government records, such as Most Wanted and terrorist lists

Does Criminal Records Monitoring report on records from all states and counties?

No. Court records data restricted states and territories include Maine, Wyoming, South Dakota, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Department of Corrections data restricted states include Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. Jail bookings data restricted states and territories include Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Puerto Rico.

What if I see court records in the status check that aren’t mine?

False matches in court records status check can occur when another individual has the same name and/or date of birth as you. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.

How soon will I receive a notification after a new court record is entered or a booking incident occurs?

You should see a notification within 30 days from the date a new court record is entered.

What time range does my initial Criminal Records Monitoring status check cover?

Your first report includes court and jail bookings data from the past 10 years.

Arrest Alerts

What if I see receive an Arrest Alert that isn’t mine?

False matches can occur as a result of an individual having the same name and/or date of birth as you. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.

How soon will I receive an Arrest Alert after a new court record is entered or a booking incident occurs?

You should see a notification within 36-48 hours from the time a booking incident occurs.

Payday Loan Monitoring

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan, also known as a non-credit or quick-cash loan, is a type of short-term borrowing where an individual borrows a small amount at a very high interest rate. Payday Loan Monitoring notifies you if this type of loan has been opened using an element of your identity.

How many non-credit loan establishments does Payday Loan Monitoring status check cover?

Payday Loan Monitoring gets data from 23 of the top 25 payday lenders.

What time range does my initial Payday Loan Monitoring status check cover?

Your first Payday Loan Monitoring status check includes data from the past 2 years.

SSN Monitoring

What do I do if there is a name or address in the SSN Monitoring status check that I don’t recognize?

If your status check contains names and/or addresses that are not familiar to you, there is probably an error in credit header data. If this is the case, it is something that can be resolved on your behalf by member support. If identity theft is indeed confirmed, a dedicated specialist will help you resolve the identity theft abuse or breach.

What time range does my first SSN Monitoring status check cover?

Your first SSN Monitoring status check looks at data beginning from the date your SSN first became associated with credit header data. This could be as early as when you were born and issued an SSN.

Child Monitoring

What is Child Monitoring?

This service monitors your child’s SSN to identify credit information associated with your child’s identity. We also monitor your child’s personal information for activity on the dark web, including public and criminal Internet properties. If we find a match to your child’s monitored information online, we’ll notify you.

How do I add Child Monitoring to my plan?

You can add Child Protection to your plan after you have enrolled in Complete ID. Simply log in to your account, click “Activate Child Protection” from the Home screen, and follow the steps to complete your purchase.

How many children can I add?

You can add up to 5 children to your plan.

Where does Child Monitoring data come from?

This data comes from public and criminal Internet properties including forums and websites, IRC channels, search engine queries, social networks, peer-to-peer sources, hidden and anonymous web services, malware samples, botnets, and torrent sources.

What time range does my initial Child Monitoring status check cover?

Your first Child Protection status check includes data from the previous 8 years. This means that our tool searches the prior 8 years of records it has collected for a match to your child’s personal information.

What does it mean when I receive a notification?

Complete ID tracks Internet activity for signs that the personal information you’ve asked us to monitor is being traded or sold. If our surveillance technology has discovered information on the Internet that is a match to your monitored identity elements, you will be notified and provided with clear instruction about what to do next.

What if the notification references only some of the personal information Child Monitoring is tracking?

It is safe to assume that if some of your child’s information is compromised, all of it is. Even if only some of your child’s personal information has been detected, it is recommended that you contact member support.

Lost Wallet Replacement Assistance

Do I have to pay extra for this service?

Lost Wallet Replacement Assistance is included with your membership, and there are no extra fees.

Do you need my account numbers to cancel my cards?

No. Our Specialists will personally assist in contacting your bank or creditor to cancel your lost or stolen cards. These entities will be able to locate your account by verifying other forms of PII, and specialists may utilize Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to do this on your behalf.

Identity Restoration2

How will Complete ID help me restore my identity if I become a victim of identity theft?

As specialists, we’ll help you determine if an identity theft event has occurred and guide you through any necessary restoration2 activities. We may take the following actions on your behalf:

  • Contact your credit card issuer or banking institution
  • Review your credit report for indications of identity theft
  • Place a fraud alert or security freeze with the three credit bureaus

Identity Theft Insurance

What expenses are covered?

Visit https://www.completeid.com/summary-of-benefits/ to view policy details.

Join the thousands of
other Costco Members

$8.99

Per Person Per Month

For Executive Members

$13.99

Per Person Per Month

FOR BUSINESS +
GOLD STAR MEMBERS

Join Now!

1Calculated on the VantageScore 3.0 model. Your VantageScore 3.0 from Experian indicates your credit risk level and is not used by all lenders, so don’t be surprised if your lender uses a score that’s different from your VantageScore 3.0. Click here to learn more about this.

2You have numerous rights under the FCRA, including the right to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report(s). Consumer reporting agencies are required to investigate and respond to your dispute, but are not obligated to change or remove accurate information that is reported in compliance with applicable law. While this plan can provide you assistance in filing a dispute, the FCRA allows you to file a dispute for free with a consumer reporting agency without the assistance of a third party.

$8.99 per person per month for Executive Members or $13.99 per person per month for Gold Star and Business Members, plus sales tax where applicable. Service provided by Experian®.