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Suze Orman Identity Theft Kit Debuts

Recently, I was talking with a coworker who had purchased the Suze Orman Identity Theft Kit. In January 2008, the TrustedID blog announced:

"Financial expert Suze Orman and TrustedID have launched Suze Orman’s Identity Theft kit, the first identity theft protection solution that protects the financial and personal information of all members of a household. Shortly after launching on QVC, the kit will be available online at www.suzeorman.com and TrustedID.comas well as through leading retailers nationwide."

I checked www.suzeorman.com and consumers can purchase the kit online. At the site, click on "Identity Theft Kit" in the left column navigation area. According to the site, the kit contains the following:

  • Two People Protection
  • Medical Record Protection
  • Anti-Spyware Software
  • Lost Wallet Protection
  • Address Scanning
  • Enhanced Junk Mail Reduction
  • Credit Card No. Scanning
  • Annual Credit Reports
  • Bank Account No. Scanning
  • $1 Million Service Warranty
  • Child Identity Theft Protection
  • Fraud Flag Placement
  • Elderly Parent Identity Theft Protection

At first glance, the service seems to have a lot of value. It definitely seems worth consideration for consumers who have no identity protection in place today. However, I found the web site content very thin. The site did not explain many of the kits features. So, it's hard to tell exactly what is offered for "Medical Record Protection," "Address Scanning," "Bank Account Number Scanning," and the "$1 Million Service Warranty." Unfortunately, the QVC page didn't supply any more detail either. Maybe the actual television pitches explains these features, but I rarely watch QVC.

There are about 46 user-submit product reviews at the QVC page. You may find some of these helpful. Most of the reviews are positive, but the negative ones seem to be where consumers encountered technical problems installing the kit software and returned the product. Some of the reviewers noted that the kit does not cover department store charge cards.

For me, the kit provides services I already have from other credit monitoring services. Regarding Fraud Alerts, I added those to my credit reports on my own. I already have anti-spyware software for my home computer from McAfee. To reduce spam and junk mail, I have already signed up at several free opt-out resources for consumers.

Later this Spring, I plan to post a detailed comparison of several of the leading identity protection solutions for consumers. The comparison will definitely include Orman's Identity Theft Kit. I've Been Mugged readers would love to hear the opinions or experiences anyone has had with the Suze Orman Identity Theft kit.

Comments

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gobbledeegook

Yeah, the QVC page didn't go into as much detail as I would've liked either, but I picked one up in the hopes it would include a Suze Orman robot that would be bulletproof and hunt down any potential identity thieves with extreme prejudice.

It arrived with no robot, sadly, but the rest of it worked out swimmingly. No setup problems at all, and I use WinXP, as one of the users pointed out "it wasn't compatible". I didn't think the apparent lack of store charge card protection was too much of a blow, no one uses store cards enough for it to warrant full protection. It's bank cards that are the big ticket. Overall I find it to be a good peace-of-mind item that you can mix-and-match with whatever ID protection you have in place already.

toothmender

My wife purchased the kit from QVC several months ago but we never got around to opening the package. This morning I decided to launch the protection offered by the kit and was amazed at the "agreement" that you must accept before the service will start. I am not a lawyer, but I would STRONGLY suggest that you read the terms of the agreement prior to accepting the service as there really is little protection for you, under the limited warranty, should something go wrong. I believe ID protection is necessary; however, I don't like the language in agreement as the limitations of liability for Suze or Trusted ID appear to leave me unprotected from their potential negligence. Oh well, just my opinion.

George

I am finding that the web sites for several identity-theft products and services do not explain the terms and conditions a consumer must accept. And the sites that offer insurance or reimbursement of identity-resolution expenses don't always disclose the terms for that.

In my opinion, these situations make it difficult for consumers to fully evaluate what they are purchasing. You often don't know until after the product purchase, and it may not be what you wanted. There will be more posts about this in the near future.

Jane G

I just wanted to share my recent experience with the product:
I purchased the kit right after it became available on QVC in Mid-January. Enrolled my husbands information promptly, becuase unforunately he is prone to losing personal items. Well it didn't take long, "misplaced" his wallet last week... still haven't recovered it. But in the meantime I was able to test out the mechanics of "wallet protection" at my trustedid account. I saw the list of credit card contacts and thought why should I have to make all these calls? Isn't that what I paid this service for? Well I called them and they were happy to call the agencies and banks on my husbands behalf.


George

Update: consumers should be aware that there is some obsolete data on the Identity Theft Special page ( https://www.suzeorman.com/igsbase/igstemplate.cfm?SRC=MD012&SRCN=aoedetails&GnavID=84&SnavID=91&TnavID=&AreasofExpertiseID=164&skip=1 ) at the Suze Orman site. Consumers in all 50 states can "freeze" their credit reports with a Security Freeze. The page incorrectly lists the Security Freeze as being available in 11 states.

Bret

I recently activated my Suze Orman Identity Theft Kit that I purchased thru QVC. I have to say, I feel this kit is a joke. First off, the "Fraud Alerts" are nothing more than Initial Fraud Alerts that you can place on your own for FREE. The alerts only last for 90 DAYS and are really designed as something you can do AFTER you suspect someone MAY have used your ID to secure credit. As far as the "Medical Record Protection", "Junk Mail Reduction" and other services, these are nothing more than PDF letters the Suze ID Kit service prepares for you. YOU must print and sign them and mail them into the appropriate parties. AGAIN, I can do this for FREE on my own. The "Junk Mail Reduction" does activate itself with the placement of the "Fraud Flags", but again it's only good 90 days. After that, you must submit the letter to get longer action. The "Medical Record Protection" is just a request to your insurance provider to send you an annual itemized list of services provided so you can check it against your records. Big deal. Once again, you can do this for free. I already monitor my credit fairly close on my own and I feel the Suze Id Kit doesn't offer much above what I already do. Thankfully, I got this kit at the intro. price of $35, so it didn't cost me that much.

Bret

A quick edit: After doing some research on the Suze Orman ID Kit site, it does say that the "Fraud Alerts" are good for only 90 days, BUT they will be renewed automatically by the service for the length of your subscription.

Bret

Another note: I feel I jumped the gun when I called this kit "a joke". After exploring it deeper, it does seem to offer some help. Time will tell how valuable I truly feel the service to be.

George

Everyone:

Thanks to Bret for sharing comments and experience about Orman's ID Theft Kit. Like many consumers, I did most fraud prevention (e.g., set up Fraud Alerts on my credit reports, renew Fraud Alerts, e-mail opt out, snail mail opt-out, Opt out of pre-approved credit offers, etc.) by myself for FREE, rather than pay a service to do it for me.

If you want to learn more about free opt-out resources, many of which you can also do online, see:
https://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/08/opt-out-resourc.html

I think that it is also important to remember that Experian has sued Lifelock regarding the renewal of Fraud Alerts every 90 days. If Experian wins its court case, it could have a very chilling effect on the ability of credit monitoring services -- and kits like Orman's -- to help consumers protect their sensitive personal data and credit reports. I encourage you to read:
https://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/experian-sues-l.html

George

boweena1

I purchased this kit. Had no trouble installing it. Went shopping and forgot I had the protection. Tried to open a new charge card and by the time the sale was complete, the retailer was aware that I could not open the new account. The 10% off the total sale for opening the account was not worth the piece of mind I got knowing this. I purchased an awing for my patio. Wanted to finance the transaction. The company with whom I had applied called to verify I was who I am and had indeed made the purchase. This was greatly appreciated. I've had a reduction of junk mail sent to my home. I renewing this protection as it does what it says it will do. I sleep better too!

boweena1

I also wanted to note after reading the other comments that yes, you can do some of these things for free, however, you would not have known that without the help of the Identity Theft Kit. So don't knock the product because you had to pay for the information. If you knew and bought the kit, then why didn't you do it? I bought the kit. I followed through with its advice. I now have the knowledge I need to protect my identity. Good for Suze Orman for making the information available. Its a small price to pay for piece of mind. Now that you know...you don't have to renew, just go ahead and take responsibility for you.

IT Dude

This is the 2nd year we have had this product. My mom bought it for her, my dad, my wife, and me. Everything worked great with the exception on when my wife and I got new Vista 64 laptops last year. The 2008 edition does not install on Vista 64. But that didn't matter much to me because I have Mcafee installed on the laptops.

I just installed the 2009 edition on my laptop, and sfter following the instructions to download the version off the web, it failed to install. Once again it looked like this program was not going to install on Vista 64 bit versions.

But I found the fix. Hopefully this will help others out there who have ran into the same problem as me with Vista 64. Here is how you fix it:

1) Insert the CD
2) Follow the instructions for "Returning Users" The install from the cd itself will fail. Don't worry about that for now.
3) Input your login information and the # "activation code".
4) After a minute or so, your account info will come up in your browser. (As you will be able to see, all your previous info is still in your accout and you will not have to do anything further if no information has changed. If you have items that have changed, make those changes now.)
5) Close your web browser when you are done.
6) If a box is on screen stating that install has failed just close it.
7) Click on the "Computer" icon on your desktop.
8) Look for your cdrom drive.
9) Right click it and choose "Explore".
10) Open up the folder that is called "Files".
11) Look for the icon that says "setup64".
12) Double click on the "setup64" icon.
13) Installation will now run without failing.
14) Give it a few minutes to complete.

Thats all there is too it. Now if you have any problems, you may want to try disabling your virus scan software before following the above instructions. I didn't have to do that. But I am running Mcafee. Don't know how Norton or others will react.

If you are a new user and have Vista 64, you may want to start with step #7 from above first. That way the software will install. After it installs, a web page will come up where you will input your email, password, and activation code.

For the price this program is well worth it. I have been in IT for over 15 years and everything works great for the most part, with the above exceptions.

Remember, this program is a low price for a year of coverage. With that, you do have to fill in some information, and print out and mail some letters. If you are too lazy to do that (have seen some comments that make me think people are) then this program is not for you. If you are not willing to do a little work, then I suggest you find a company to do it for you, but they cost upwards of $40 a month, just to do something that you can do yourself.

And yes, you can do all of this stuff for free yourself, but you have to know where to get the information to do it, and it takes a lot more of your time. Not to mention in the end it will cost you more to do every 3 months, plus costs of credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus.

And in the end, if you are not an IT person like me, I suggest you get someone you know who is to install it for you, or take it to some Nerd Herd people at Best Buy or Circut City to install it for you. Will cost you to do that, but at least it will be installed correctly.

For the most part, and for most people, this software is really easy to install, does exactly what it says, and helps you out in time and money.

George

IT Dude:

Thanks for the information and detailed instructions. I don't use it, but Orman's kit is very popular among I've Been Mugged readers.

George
Editor
https://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

DONNA REPICI

i just received the 3rd edition, (3/10 - 3/11/11), AND WAS TOLD BY QVC THAT THIS WAS THE LAST SHIPMENT. I E-MAILED SUZIE ORMAN AND HAVE STILL NOT RECEIVED AN ANSWER, THAT WAS THURSDAY.

L. E. Williams

I ordered this several years ago from QVC and Suze bragged about the program being for TWO individuals,
and that the price was "locked in" and that the SECURE SCAN could be installed on as many computers as you want.

Well now: QVC STOPPED CARRYING THE PRODUCT so I was forced to buy it online. THE PRICE WAS HIGHER (NOT "LOCKED IN") AND ONLY COVERS ONE PERSON.
I CANNOT GET THE SECURE SCAN TO INSTALL ON ANY COMPUTER NOW.

When I try to install it on my two new computers, I get a message that tells me my coverage is expired, but when I go online it tells me I have two months of protection still left.
I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY NOTIFICATION WHEN MY INITIAL TWO-YEAR AGREEMENT WAS UP so I was (and still am)left with no computer protection.

Be aware: THE PROTECTION WEBSITE YOU ARE SENT TO (Trusted ID)DOES NOT MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO KEEP UP WITH REORDERING OR KEEPING YOUR SOFTWARE UP-TO-DATE. It does, however, tell you how many days of protection you have left.

Big whoop. Suzy doesn't have all the bugs ironed out yet. There have been far too many gaps and glitches for me to get any feeling of security from this product.

Hopefully the 2011 version will be much improved. It couldn't get much worse.

L. E. Williams

UPDATING MY LAST POST: I was finally able to install and then update my secure scan online.
It took me forever to find the well-hidden thing.
Now, supposedly there is a place on there to keep the kit current and running. I will go searching for that now.....

George

L.E. Williams:

Thanks for sharing your experience. This was very informative. I and other readers appreciate it.

George
Editor
https://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

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