The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

AAA enhances membership benefits with free identity theft protection



For more than a century, members have relied on AAA for safety and security behind the wheel. Now the Club has added another way to afford members peace of mind: identity theft protection.

"Helping members protect one of their most important assets--their identity--is just one more way that AAA East Central is always there to assist members," said Jim Lehman, president, AAA East Central.

Identity theft affected 12.6 million consumers -- 5.26 percent of U.S. adults -- in 2012, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Almost 1 in 5 complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 were related to identity theft, making it the FTC's top complaint category for 13 consecutive years.

There are a few quick, easy-to-follow steps to begin safeguarding your identity today, both online and offline:

Never carry sensitive documents, such as your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport, unless you need them. Also, do not keep written copies of your ATM PIN or Social Security number with you.

Shred all documents containing sensitive information you no longer require, such as credit card offers, banking receipts, expired credit or ID cards, and medical records.

Review credit, bank and medical statements frequently for suspicious activity.

Use strong, difficult-to-guess passwords online, especially for transactions involving payment or personal information.

Be cautious of oversharing on social networking sites. In addition, use privacy settings to limit who can see your account.

Even when taking these precautions to protect your identity, it is impossible for you to monitor your personal information 24/7. This is why it is crucial to have a professional monitoring service that can do just that. AAA East Central offers members the choice of two identity theft monitoring products from Experian: ProtectMyID Essential and ProtectMyID Deluxe.

ProtectMyID Essential (a $79 value) is FREE to all members over the age 18 as part of their AAA East Central membership. It includes:

Daily monitoring of Experian credit report, Experian credit report at signup, E-mail alerts advising of changes to credit report, as well as monthly "all clear" notifications, Fraud resolution support, Lost wallet and card protection and assistance, $10,000 identity theft insurance (for AAA Premiere members only)

ProtectMyID Deluxe provides all of the features of Essential plus the following benefits for $8.95 per month (a 56-percent discount):

Daily monitoring of all three credit reports (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), Experian credit report with score at the time of signup, ChildSecure: A feature that monitors minor children's identity Notification if change of address has been detected, Daily Internet scans for signs of identity fraud

"AAA continues to look for ways to make its members feel safer," said Lehman. "As technology changes, AAA changes as well. As more people enjoy the convenience of shopping and banking online, AAA is providing them with another benefit to help them feel secure," he added.

Current AAA members can sign up for ProtectMyID coverage by visiting Protect My ID or by calling 1-877-440-6943.