Work/life and wellness
Equifax identity theft insurance
VCU has contracted with Equifax, a national credit reporting agency that provides credit management products, to make available Equifax Personal Solutions products at discounted prices. These products are available to all current VCU faculty, staff and students as well as VCU alumni.
Discounted products include regular credit monitoring and reports, alerting services, alerts of score changes, and identity theft insurance. View the specific products and the discounted prices online »
Frequently asked questions
- What exactly is identity theft and why do I need to worry about it?
- If I sign up for one of the discounted Equifax programs for one year, will I get the discounted price in subsequent years?
- Besides purchasing one of the personal solution products, what else can I do to protect myself from identity theft?
- How do I determine which product is best for me?
- I can get free annual credit reports. Why should I purchase one of the Equifax products?
- I’ve heard about people who have had problems with credit bureaus making mistakes with their accounts. What are some guidelines to follow in order to ensure that my personal information is protected?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information in order to take over your credit accounts, open new accounts, access bank accounts, take out a loan or commit numerous other crimes using your identity. Because there is usually no physical theft involved, identity theft may not be detected until significant damage has been done, which could be several months and thousands of dollars later. There is no way to tell if identity thieves have used your personal information unless you check your credit report frequently. According to The New York Times, more than 27 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the past five years, and consumers reported almost $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses have been incurred.
If I sign up for one of the discounted Equifax programs for one year, will I get the discounted price in subsequent years?
Yes. Equifax will honor the discounted prices for each year you renew.
Besides purchasing one of the personal solution products, what else can I do to protect myself from identity theft?
Taking advantage of this Equifax discounted offer will provide you with protection. In addition, you can take certain steps to reduce the probability that you will be a victim of identity theft. Visit the resources below for tips to help protect yourself:
- Preventing identity theft
- Federal Trade Commission – national resource for identity theft
- U.S. Department of Justice – identity theft and identity fraud
- Identity theft and your Social Security number
On the Equifax website, click on the product name for more details.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 entitles consumers to obtain, once a year, a free copy of their credit reports from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The website www.annualcreditreport.com, which is sponsored by the three credit reporting bureaus, then delivers those reports. The discounted Equifax products offer additional services beyond the credit reports.
I’ve heard about people who have had problems with credit bureaus making mistakes with their accounts. What are some guidelines to follow in order to ensure that my personal information is protected?
In the past, there have been some consumer complaints about credit bureaus not adequately handling customers’ data. The following tips address some of those concerns.
- Get the right phone number. Always use the special toll-free phone number that grants you “member access” to call the company.
- Keep records of everything. Make copies of all documentation you send to credit bureaus. Send any documents by certified mail and request that the U.S. Post Office track your mailing from delivery to receipt. Any faxes should be sent with transmission logs that verify the contents were sent properly. Save a copy of the product receipt you purchased and/or print it out for future reference. Each report will have a number, and that number will be your only way to maintain your access to the “members only” part of any credit bureau’s site.
- Contact the authorities. Your local and state governments, including police, and utility companies should immediately be made aware when you believe your identity has been compromised. Document any and every instance where inaccurate information on your credit report has caused you financial or legal hardship.
- Keep your information secure! Don’t give out your Social Security number unless required to do so. Use specialized passwords when making any online transactions. Avoid using easily obtainable information such as your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name and the like.