Massive amount of data gets uploaded on the web daily. Unfortunately, there’s always a risk that they will be exposed. It has led to an undeniable increase in cases of identity theft, which can cause significant damage to your personal and financial life.
If you or someone you know is a victim of identity theft, it’s important to restore your identity and recover from the damage you’ve sustained. In this article, we aim to help you find an identity theft restoration service that’s suitable for your needs.
We’ve searched the web for the best identity theft restoration products. Stay with us until the end and find our top tip to help you choose an ID theft restoration service.
You wouldn't want to sign up for the first product you see on Google search only to realize it's not right for you.
What are the best identity theft restoration services?
Identity theft restoration services exist to help you in case your identity gets compromised. However, they’re not created equal. It’s important to know what they offer and how they compare to other services so you can make informed decisions.
Best For: Bundled services
Aura offers a comprehensive service ranging from identity theft and financial fraud protection. Its many features and options protect you from identity theft and help restore your identity in case you become a victim.
Aura is the best choice if you’re looking for all-in-one identity coverage. It allows you to check your credit report, scan files for possible viruses, and check the dark web for data breaches on its interface.
It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for bundled services, including identity theft protection, financial fraud protection, and other online tools. Although it offers restoration services, Aura’s features focus more on identity theft protection.
Aura offers antivirus protection, a virtual private network, a password manager, safe browsing, and device protection on all of its available plans.
It boasts of comprehensive monitoring of your information, including your financial transactions, as well as your other personally identifiable information, such as your social security system.
The antivirus program will protect you from malware, spyware, and viruses, while its virtual private network will encrypt your internet connection and give you a new IP address to prevent hackers from tracking your online activities.
Individual plans offer protection for up to 10 devices, 20 for couples, and 50 for a family subscription.
Aside from that, Aura also checks the dark web and data brokers to see if your information has been compromised.
If you’ve signed up for a family plan, Aura will also check if your children’s Social Security numbers are at risk of identity theft.
When it comes to your financial information, Aura monitors your bank and credit accounts, as well as other financial activities. You’ll get monthly and annual credit reports from all three credit reporting bureaus.
You will get “near real-time” alerts in case someone inquires about your credit profile. If your identity is compromised, the Credit Lock feature will prevent unauthorized individuals from opening new accounts under your name.
You can also use the wallet feature to secure your credit cards and anything else that may put you at risk of identity theft.
Aura provides a “white glove” fraud resolution feature, which connects you to a specialist if you become a victim of identity theft. These experts will help restore your identity and recover lost assets.
Aura’s pricing system is simple. You can choose from three different types of plans. The first plan is for individuals, the second one for couples, and the third one for families of up to five members.
All members of your plan are eligible for up to $1 million in reimbursement in case you suffer a loss due to identity theft. It means couples get $2 million in identity theft insurance and $5 million for a family.
Individual plans are priced regularly at $15 per month. You can save $3 if you purchase its annual plan, which is priced at $12.
As for couples, identity protection and restoration services cost $22 a month if you buy its annual plan; otherwise, it’s $29 per month.
Aura’s family protection costs $37 a month if billed annually or $50 if you want to be a monthly subscriber.
Aura is currently running a special offer. You can save up to 40% on individual plans and up to 52% on family plans if you subscribe, each priced at $12 and $9, respectively.
Pros and Cons
Here’s what we liked and didn’t like about Aura:
- Protection for individuals, couples, and family
- Credit monitoring from three credit bureaus
- Monthly credit reports and credit score
- Antivirus protection
- Virtual private network feature
- It’s pricier than other identity theft protection and restoration services.
- You will only get a monthly credit report from Experian.
- Aura’s antivirus protection only works for Mac desktops but not for Apple devices.
You can check out our full Aura review here.
Best For: Expert assistance during recovery
IdentityForce is the top choice if you’re looking for a team of experts who can help you with anything concerning identity theft.
Although it offers identity theft protection services, IdentityForce focuses more on helping you when you’re dealing with the mess and consequences of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Formerly called Stop-Loss Associates, IdentityForce has been around since 1978. In 2005, it changed its name to IdentityForce. It combined with EZ Shield to form a new parent company called Sontiq in 2019. In 2021, Sontiq was acquired by TransUnion.
You should choose IdentityForce if you’re looking for a reliable service for identity theft and a dependable team of experts who can help if your identity has been compromised.
IdentityForce offers features that monitor your personal information, such as your Social Security number, credit score, and more. It also checks the dark web and conducts fraud monitoring.
It also offers online protection tools for further security against identity theft and monitoring features that can help check for suspicious activities in your medical records, social media accounts, bank accounts, etc. It features two-factor authentication, so you’ll have an additional layer of protection against cybercriminals.
Its Sontiq Intelligent Identity Security platform is where you can access VPN for safe browsing and managing mobile threats. It also features a Mobile Attack Control that protects your phone from all kinds of threats and provides you with notifications if your device has been compromised.
IdentityForce’s basic protection offers $1 million in insurance and identity restoration services if you fall victim to cybercrime.
The TransUnion-owned service offers two plans – UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit plans.
For individual protection, IdentityForce’s basic protection, UltraSecure, is priced at $17.99 per month or $179.90 if billed annually. It costs $24.90 monthly or $249.90 annually for families.
Compared to Aura’s family plan, which only covers up to five members, IdentityForces’ family plan covers two adults and an unlimited number of kids below 18 years old. Its ChildWatch feature monitors your children’s social security numbers on the dark web and online for suspicious transactions.
If you’re subscribed to an individual plan, you can add the ChildWatch feature for $2.75 per child, per month. The UltraSecure plan comes with a 30-day free trial period.
As for the UltraSecure+Credit plan, you need to pay $23.99 per month for an individual plan or $239.90 per year, while a family plan costs $35.90 per month or $359 per month. This plan doesn’t come with a 30-day free trial period.
The UltraSecure+Credit plan offers everything that the basic UltraSecure plan has to offer but with additional features. You’ll get access to your credit report from all three credit bureaus. You’ll also have a credit score tracker and a credit simulator, which lets you see the consequences of your financial decisions.
Here’s what we liked and didn’t like about IdentityForce:
- Identity theft protection
- Two-factor authentication
- Social media and personal information monitoring
- Quarterly credit reports and scores from all 3 credit reporting bureaus
- Credit Simulator for checking outcomes of your financial moves and for improving your credit score
- Support from Identity Restoration Services
- High price point than other services
- Credit reports come quarterly
You can check out our comprehensive IdentityForce review here.
Best For: Affordable services and customized identity monitoring
IDWatchdog won’t stop at anything when it comes to protecting the credit and identities of its clients. It also has an identity restoration team that’s dedicated to resolving credit fraud and identity theft.
The company was created in 2005. In 2007, IDWatchdog released its first identity theft protection platform. Equifax acquired the company a decade later.
We believe IDWatchdog is a great option if you’re looking for affordable identity protection, credit monitoring, and restoration services. We can also consider it the best service for customized identity monitoring.
IDWatchdog offers comprehensive identity protection and restoration services, ranging from checking financial transactions for suspicious activities.
It offers two plans, ID Watchdog Select and ID Watchdog Premium. Both plans are offered for individuals and families, including children, by monitoring their Social Security numbers for fraudulent activities.
They come with $1 million insurance coverage in case of identity theft. IDWatchdog also provides insurance for losses in 401K plans due to cybercrime under its premium plan. Its premium plan also watches out for cyberbullying and suspicious activities in social media
The IDWatchdog Select costs $14.95 per month or $150 per year for individual coverage. Meanwhile, family plans cost $23.95 per month or $240 per year.
The ID Watchdog Premium costs $21.95 per month or $220 per year for individual coverage, while coverage for families costs $34.95 per month or $350 per year.
The premium plan includes all the features offered in ID Watchdog Select. But it also includes additional services, such as reports from all three credit bureaus, social media account monitoring, child credit lock for family plans, and reimbursement for 401k stolen funds.
Here are the advantages and downsides of IDWatchdog:
- Excellent identity theft restoration service
- Two-factor authentication
- Insures against 401k Losses
- Reliable credit monitoring features
- Credit Lock Feature
- Identity Protection For Families With Kids
- Doesn’t monitor social media activities
- Doesn’t offer reimbursement insurance
- Doesn’t offer family plans
We’ve done a full review of IDWatchdog here.
Best For: Multiple device protection
LifeLock is known for offering impeccable device protection. Its robust identity protection services are driven by its partnership with Norton, a popular and reputable antivirus brand.
This service is best if you’re a tech-savvy individual who spends most of your time on the internet through different devices. It’s also ideal for seniors who would like to keep an eye on their retirement and investment accounts.
LifeLock offers credit and identity monitoring services, as well as features that can protect your devices from malware, which aims to steal digital information.
Lifelocks’ identity monitoring includes your name, address, and Social Security numbers. It checks court records, crime registries, data breach notifications, and dark web content for signs of identity theft.
It offers credit card monitoring and credit reports from all three credit bureaus. It allows you to lock your TransUnion credit file through the dashboard and freeze your account with Experian and Equifax through their websites.
LifeLock also has a Privacy Monitor service that combs through data broker sites for your personal information. If they find your details, they will notify you so you can request the site to remove them.
The company’s credit monitoring service gives you monthly access to your credit reports. Meanwhile, the LifeLock app will update your credit score daily.
As for its financial monitoring service, LifeLock will check your credit, savings, and checking accounts and alert you when they detect signs of account takeover. It will also monitor new account openings under your names and notify you of any suspicious activity on your 401K investment accounts.
In case your account was compromised, you can make the most out of LifeLock’s restoration services. Its U.S.-based specialists will help recover your identity and deal with the effects of identity theft.
LifeLock offers three plans, all of which provide credit card fraud monitoring and notification, credit reports from major credit bureaus, and dark web monitoring. These plans can be customized for individuals, couples, and families.
LifeLock Standard is the first tier of identity theft coverage. Its individual coverage costs $11.99 per month or $124.99 annually after promotions.
For two adults, the plan costs $23.99 monthly or $249.99 yearly. Meanwhile, a family plan, which covers up to five kids, costs $35.99 monthly or $359.99 yearly.
LifeLock Advantage costs $22.99 monthly or $239.99 annually, after promotions, for individual coverage. The coverage for two adults or couples costs $45.99 monthly or $479.99 yearly, while the family plan costs $57.99 monthly or $579.99 yearly.
LifeLock Ultimate Plus
LifeLock Ultimate Plus costs $34.99 monthly or $339.99 annually after promotions for individual coverage. The coverage for couples costs $69.99 monthly or $679.99 yearly, while a family plan covering up to five members costs $79.99 monthly or $799.99 yearly.
Here are the advantages and downsides of LifeLock:
- Norton 360 antivirus device protection
- Up to $1 million identity theft insurance coverage for personal expenses and stolen funds
- Credit lock feature
- 401k account monitoring
- Only reimburses $25,000 in stolen funds
- Plans are expensive once promotions end
- Low-tiered plans offer limited features
We’ve also tried LifeLock ourselves and got the full review here.
Best For: AI-backed technology to monitor identity
Identity Guard is one of the companies that offer identity theft protection. But unlike other similar services, it uses world-class artificial intelligence to monitor threats to your identity.
Identity Guard monitors their clients’ data using IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence (AI). Through this technology, Identity Guard can search through massive amounts of data to catch cybercriminals trying to steal their client’s information.
The service is perfect if you’re willing to pay extra for top-tier identity theft protection and restoration services. It has a team of experts who can take care of everything that involves identity theft.
IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence (AI) provides Identity Guard with a powerful tool that scans for suspicious activities that may compromise your personal information and your identity. You’ll be provided with real-time risk assessments and threat notifications.
Identity Guard offers affordable plans, which include up to $1 million in identity insurance coverage. It also includes a range of features, such as dark web monitoring and notifications for suspicious transactions.
You will also have a dedicated specialist who will help you in case you become a victim of identity theft.
However, there are some special features that are only available for higher tier coverage, including account takeover detection, 401k account monitoring, and credit monitoring.
Identity Guard offers three types of coverage – Value, Total, and Ultra plans.
The Value plan offers an annual billing of $7.50 per month for individual coverage and $12.50 per month for family coverage. Its monthly-to-month subscription price is $8.99 for an individual plan and $14.99 for a family plan.
You’ll get access to a mobile app and online dashboard. Some of its features include a safe browsing extension, personalized risk assessment, $1 million insurance, and a dedicated specialist if you become a victim of cybercrime.
The Total plan costs $19.99 per month for individual coverage and $29.99 per month for family coverage. Its annual billing cost for individual coverage is $16.67 per month and $25.00 for family coverage.
It provides additional features such as financial and credit monitoring.
The Ultra plan’s annual billing costs $25.00 per month for individual coverage and $29.99 per month for family coverage. It costs $33.33 per month for the annual billing of individual coverage and $39.99 per month billed annually for family coverage.
It allows you to monitor any changes to your home title and address. It also tracks your credit, investment, and retirement accounts.
You’ll also have access to a “social insight report” feature, which analyses your Facebook accounts for furthermore improvement. It also protects your name from being used fraudulently in criminal activities.
Here’s a quick summary of its pros and cons:
- Affordable prices
- Up to $1 million reimbursement
- AI identity monitoring to protect you against identity theft
- Cheapest coverage doesn’t include credit monitoring
- Shares your information with third-party vendors
- Uses only 128-bit AES encryption
Best For: Monitoring information use
IdentityIQ was founded in the US in 2009 and featured four types of coverage. IdentityIQ is under IDIQ, which also offers other products, such as MyScoreIQ and DataBreachIQ.
IdentityIQ offers daily credit monitoring from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. However, this service is only available if you subscribe to its Secure Pro and Secure Max plans. Only one credit bureau monitoring is offered to low-tier plans.
It also checks for unusual changes in your personal information and suspicious activities, such as the opening of new credit lines and accounts under your name, without authorization. You will be notified if any of these red flags have been detected.
IdentityIQ also checks the dark web for any stolen information and traces unusual use of your Social Security number. It monitors national and international criminal records that may be linked to your name.
In case your information and identity were compromised, their restoration team will help restore your life and identity in order. You will have a dedicated case manager who will help create and implement an action plan to help you get through this ordeal.
IdentityIQ also offers $1 million identity theft insurance for stolen funds, legal fees, personal expenses, and lost wages. It also features lost wallet assistance to help replace stolen cards in case your wallet was stolen or lost.
Some of its other notable features include the following:
Synthetic ID theft protection helps check if your information was used in a scam. It also offers junk mail opt-out assistance and family ID theft insurance of up to $25,000.
IdentityIQ offers plans for monthly and annual billing. It doesn’t offer a free trial, and its family coverage comes free if you subscribe to the Secure Max plan at no extra cost.
- Secure plan costs $6.99 per month or $71.30 annually
- Secure Plus plan costs $9.99 per month or $101.90 annually
- Secure Pro plan costs $19.99 per month or $203.90 annually
- Secure Max plan costs $29.99 per month or $305.90 annually
Here’s a summary of its pros and cons:
- Credit monitoring from three credit bureaus
- Premium VPN services
- No additional cost for family protection
- Lower plans monitor only one credit bureau
- Plans that include all three credit bureau monitoring cost more than competitors
- Doesn’t monitor social media activities
- Doesn’t have a mobile app
- Collects personal data and shares it with third-party vendors
We’ve tried IdentityIQ ourselves and shared our experience here.
Best For: Recovery assistance
IDShield ranks as the best option for Identity Recovery assistance. According to its website, the Oklahoma-based company has more than 1 million subscribers, and its services are offered to individuals, families, and companies that offer identity protection and restoration to their employees.
IDShield is an excellent choice for identity restoration services. It’s a perfect option if you’re looking for comprehensive protection plans and extensive device security against hacking and phishing.
One unique feature of IDShield is that it has licensed private investigators who can help you in case you’ve fallen victim to identity theft. It will help recover and restore your identity.
IDShield checks if your name was used for loan applications. Its features also include malware protection, dark web monitoring, a virtual private network, and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.
If you choose the three-bureau plan, you’ll get monthly updates from all three major credit bureaus. You’ll receive your credit scores every month and a credit report annually.
However, if you only go for the One Bureau plan, you’ll only be monitoring your credit scores and reports from TransUnion.
IDShield offers the SSN Skip Trace feature to check if someone else is using your Social Security number. It also checks public records and court records to make sure that your name wasn’t used to commit criminal activities.
It also offers social media monitoring, child monitoring to check if your child’s identity has been stolen, sex offender tracking to check if there are sex offenders living in your neighborhood, and telecom monitoring to check if someone has been redirecting your messages so they could steal information.
IDShield partners with Trend Micro, so you’ll have access to anti-malware protection, password manager, and VPN. It also has a feature that lets you reduce telemarketing calls and junk mail.
IDShield also removes illegally obtained information from data brokers and tracks your medical data reports. You can get in touch with their identity theft specialists if you have questions, and they also offer support if you lose your wallet.
IDShield’s subscription is simple and comes with a 30-day free trial. You can choose one that suits your needs and budget.
One-Bureau plan for individuals costs $14.95 per month or $179.40 per year. The coverage is only for a single person and only offers one credit monitoring service from TransUnion.
One-Bureau plan for families costs $29.95 for two adults and 10 children per month or $359.40 per year. It only offers one credit monitoring service, from TransUnion.
Three-Bureau plan for individuals costs $19.95 per month or $239.40 per year; and covers only 1 individual. It includes credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus, namely TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Three-Bureau plan for families costs $34.95 per month or $419.40 per year; and covers only 2 adults and 10 children. It includes credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus, namely TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of IDShield:
- Affordable identity theft protection and restoration coverage
- Offers a 30-day free trial
- No Employs licensed investigators to help with recovery and restoration
- Complicated setup
- Doesn’t offer discounts on the annual plan
What are the important features that an excellent identity theft restoration service should offer?
You’ll find several identity theft protection and restoration services today. Finding one that suits your needs is easier said than done.
There are things you need to consider so you can find the service that covers everything you need. It’s crucial to check certain features so you can determine which service offers you the most benefits.
Identity theft insurance coverage
Identity theft insurance is the top feature that you need to look for in an identity theft restoration service. It will help protect you from the financial losses that you may incur if you become a victim of identity theft.
Some companies offer low coverage, while top-tier ones offer up to $1 million in insurance protection. Of course, you should go with the service that offers the highest identity theft insurance coverage for your peace of mind.
It’s also essential to choose a service that will monitor your Social Security number. As you know by now, a hacker can do a lot of things even if they only have your Social Security number.
Bank account takeovers monitoring
A bank account takeover happens when a cybercriminal steals your online banking credentials and uses your information to transfer funds out of your account.
It’s best to look for an identity theft restoration service that can notify you if they’ve spotted red flags that someone has taken over your bank account. They can apply for loans and open credit card accounts under your name.
Credit score monitoring
You should also check if the service includes monitoring for TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Some basic plans only offer monitoring from one credit bureau, usually with TransUnion.
However, you should always remember that fraud doesn’t show up on your credit reports right away. It’s best to have coverage that includes all three credit bureaus.
Bank and credit card activity alerts
It’s good to choose a service that will notify you if they notice any changes in your bank and credit card activities. Cybercriminals steal your information and identity so they can commit fraudulent activities.
Any sign of suspicious activities in your bank accounts or credit card account should be reported to you right away.
What is the cost of dealing with identity theft?
According to research by Javelin Strategy, about 15 million Americans suffered identity theft in 2021, and about $52 billion were stolen from them.
The effect of identity theft on your finances will depend on what kind of fraud was committed and how long it took before it was detected.
If you manage to catch any unauthorized charges or loans immediately, then you’ll have higher chances of resolving them right away. You can request your bank, credit card company, or any other financial institution to reverse the charges or decline the application.
You may have to spend about $1,000 to rectify the damages caused by the identity theft. The amount would be much higher if you are unable to detect the fraud early on.
Aside from the monetary aspect, identity theft could also lead to a criminal record or an arrest if your personal information was used to commit crimes. Not only that, your financial or credit record will be damaged if loans and charges are taken out of your account and you fail to make timely payments.
Lastly, you’ll have to spend time and effort tracking, reporting, and resolving identity theft.
How long will it take to recover from the effects of identity theft?
It will take you an average of 100 to 200 hours over a six-month period of time to recover from the effects of identity theft. It may even take you longer if you fail to detect identity theft early on.
You’ll have to work with the financial institutions and other entities that were involved. You also have to work with all three credit reporting bureaus to undo the damage caused by identity theft.
You need to request a fraud alert, review your credit reports, and get in touch with all companies that were involved in the fraudulent activities.
Identity theft restoration services can help you deal with the effects of identity theft. These services are offered at different price points with varying features, so you can choose one that suits your budget and ID theft recovery needs.