- Low prices
- Free protection for children
- 24/7 recovery services
- Variety of monitoring services
- Mobile apps
- Credit monitoring only for higher subscriptions
- No money-back guarantee
After choosing which plan suits you best, it’s easy to create a ReliaShield account. Simply enter your information on the website to get up and running. You’ll just need your address, phone number, and Social Security number, although you have to be a U.S. resident to apply. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be taken to the dashboard where you can customize your plan. Your identity theft protection begins immediately, and ReliaShield might even notify you about a past incident of identity theft that happened without your knowledge.
It’s worth setting up ReliaShield on your mobile device as soon as possible as it’s a great way receive your identity theft alerts. ReliaShield has apps for Android and iOS from which you can also access your monitoring reports.
Monitoring & Alerts
ReliaShield covers all different types of identity theft, flagging any issues and reporting them to you. Financial fraud is covered by checking for anyone applying for a credit card or payday loan in your name. ReliaShield also checks to see if anyone is trying to open a new bank account with your information or is attempting to alter your bank account by changing personal details or adding a new account holder.
The best indicator of identity fraud is an unexpected change in your credit score. ReliaShield tracks your monthly credit score with the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) to check for any irregularities. One thing to note is that the all-important three credit bureau monitoring is only available with an Elite subscription. Users who subscribe to the Essential package won’t get any kind of credit score monitoring, so it’s well worth upgrading.
Identity thieves often use Social Security numbers to commit identity fraud. ReliaShield monitors your Social Security number for any other names or aliases associated with your number – something that is common in benefits, medical, and utilities fraud. Similarly, ReliaShield also checks for any change of address so your mail isn’t redirected to an identity thief. The service also monitors court records to see if a criminal act has been committed in your name by someone else. Another common way for identity thieves to gain access to your accounts is by finding your information from data breaches, often sourced from the dark web. ReliaShield checks for any past breaches, monitors the dark web, and notifies you about any future data breaches when they happen, so you can act quickly.
ReliaShield has some extra features that aren’t specific to identity theft but are useful for keeping you safe. The neighborhood predator monitoring gives you a report of any nearby registered sex offenders and will notify you when a new offender appears in your radius. You can also have ReliaShield monitor your social media activity, so you’ll know if you’re giving away too much private information or even damaging your reputation.
No identity theft protection is able to protect you completely from identity theft, but if you do become a victim, ReliaShield has your back. ReliaShield will assign you a dedicated recovery specialist who will be tasked with restoring your identity. You’re in good hands too, as ReliaShield claims they have a 100% recovery success rate. The specialist’s job is also to make sure you’re not held responsible for any fraudulent financial transactions as a result of identity theft. Recovery services are available to support you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. ReliaShield offers the industry-standard $1 million in stolen funds and expenses reimbursement.
On top of that, ReliaShield provides additional wallet protection. Although you won’t be able to get back any cash you had inside, ReliaShield will cancel any cards you were carrying and reorder new ones for you.
As well as offering plans for individuals, ReliaShield offers further protection for families. ReliaShield’s family plans cover two adults and an unlimited number of children under the age of 18 for free. The one caveat as that the children have to live in the same household as the adults. When you couple family protection with the social media and neighborhood predator monitoring, it makes ReliaShield a helpful way to keep kids safe.
ReliaShield has three different pricing tiers, and each is available as individual or family plans – giving you six options in total. Payment can be made on a monthly or yearly basis, with additional discounts for the latter. Compared to other identity theft services ReliaShield is inexpensive: prices begin at $7.99 for the Essential subscription, which comes to just $7.33 a month when paid annually. If you want to upgrade to the family plan, then the Essential subscription which covers two adults and an unlimited number of children under the age of 18 begins at $14.99 monthly or a yearly payment of $164.89 ($13.74 a month).
The only downside to the Essential plan is that it’s missing many of the important features that help prevent identity theft. In particular, credit bureau monitoring is vital but only comes with the Prime and Elite subscriptions. The Elite subscription is needed if you want to cover all three credit bureaus (compared to Prime’s single bureau), so if you want to be properly protected it’s worth upgrading. Elite begins at $21.99 monthly or a yearly payment of $241.92 – still a good price compared to other services.
Although ReliaShield doesn’t offer a free trial or money-back guarantee, subscriptions can be canceled at any time, so there’s no reason to feel like you’re tied to a long contract.
ReliaShield’s 24/7 support isn’t limited to situations when you need urgent support for identity theft. The ReliaShield support team is on hand around the clock to answer questions by phone or via email through the online form. Alternatively, you can get support through ReliaShield’s Facebook page. One thing we would like to see in the future is a live chat feature – something you find with most of ReliaShield’s rivals.
The ReliaShield website hosts a brief FAQ section detailing how identity theft works and some of the features the service provides. It’s also worth checking out the ReliaShield blog, which is a great place to look for information on all the latest scams identity thieves are using.
When it comes to getting specialized identity theft protection for less, ReliaShield is a fantastic option. This especially true for families thanks to ReliaShield’s free protection for children under 18, which means you can have your whole household protected for a low price. The monitoring covers just about every aspect of identity theft, but we also like that it goes further with the addition of neighborhood predator and social media monitoring. Our main issue is that the important credit bureau monitoring is only available with the pricier subscriptions – and to have all three bureaus monitored requires subscribing to the most expensive plan. It’s difficult to say if ReliaShield’s claim of being “simply better” is true, but it is an ideal solution for families who want identity theft protection at a low price.