Best Identity Theft Protection Services of 2024

Jan 26, 2024
Fact Checked
Learn more about which identity theft protection service is best for you.
Most Affordable
Only $7.50 per month if you pay for the year upfront
Insurance policy includes broad stolen funds reimbursement
Every plan comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee
Best Overall
Best Value Two-Adult Plan
Insurance up to $1 million per adult
60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans
All plans monitor all three major credit bureaus

Key Takeaways

In the past, identity theft happened when someone got a hold of your wallet or went through your trash and found discarded bills or banking statements. Now, a person can have their identity stolen by simply downloading the wrong file on their computer or phone. As access to technology has increased over the last 20 years, reports of identity theft have also increased from 0.33 million in 2001 to more than 5.74 million in 2023. Based on a 2020 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly one in 10 adults age 65 or older experienced identity theft in the past year, with financial losses totaling $2.5 billion.

Scammers often target older adults with online scams because they tend to interact more with medical providers and government agencies, two sectors that are vulnerable to hacks and data breaches, noted Michael Scheumack, a board member of the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence. While an identity theft protection service can’t necessarily prevent someone from stealing your personal information, it can help prevent and mitigate damage that comes from your identity being stolen.

All identity theft protection services work by monitoring the internet to find potentially fraudulent uses of your personal identification information and sending you an alert if suspicious activity is detected. From there you can confirm whether the activity is fraudulent. If it is, the service you hired can repair the damage and, if necessary, restore your stolen identity. The various services available may offer different degrees of monitoring, insurance, and restoration.

Each of our top picks below offers top-notch protection services, but some will be better than others, depending on your specific needs.

A quick look at the best identity theft services

  1. Most Affordable Individual Plan: LifeLock by Norton
  2. Best Value Two-Adult Plan: Aura Identity Guard
  3. Best Identity Restoration: IDShield
  4. Best Medical Identity Theft Protection: IdentityForce

Why trust NCOA

Our team thoroughly researched identity theft to understand what the best protection services should offer. Next, we mystery-shopped the top protection services on the market, so we could help you decide which ones have the most to offer, so you can choose which is best for you. 

We selected our top choices based on:

To explain our research better, we’ve listed pros and cons, best uses, and standard features of the top identity protection services. We also included our methodology at the bottom of the page.

Comparison of identity theft protection services, as of January 2024

Company Cost (if paid month-to-month) Cost (if paid annually) Trial period (days) Insurance offered Insurance includes stolen funds reimbursement Home title monitoring Identity protection Financial protection Device protection and cybersecurity Two adult plan Learn More
$11.99–$69.99 $89.99–$395.88 30 $1.05 million–$3 million Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Visit Site
$15–$45 $144–$240 14 $1 million per adult on the plan Yes (if stolen via unauthorized electronic fund transfer) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Visit Site
$14.95–$34.95 $179.40–$419.40 30 $1 million No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Visit Site
$17.99–$35.99 $179.50–$359.95 30 $1 million Yes (if stolen via unauthorized electronic fund transfer) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Visit Site

Best identity theft protection services


Most Affordable
Cost: $11.99–$69.99
Only $7.50 per month if you pay for the year upfront
Insurance policy includes reimbursement for any type of stolen assets (including cash)
Every plan comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee
Why we chose

We chose LifeLock as the “Most Affordable Individual Plan” because its standard plan offers high-quality identity and financial theft protection services for only $7.50 per month (which is 37% off the brand’s monthly price) when you pay annually instead of monthly.

Pros and cons
Pros Try it free for 30 days Alerts come in a text message, mobile app notification, email, and phone call Save up to 52% when you pay annually instead of monthly Home title monitoring available with the highest plan Cons Device protection available for extra cost Basic plan only monitors one credit bureau Only the highest LifeLock plan offers coverage for two adults

LifeLock by Norton offers identity and financial protection services with three different plans: standard, ultimate plus, and ultimate plus for two adults.

The standard plan includes internet and dark web The dark web is a part of the internet made up of hidden websites that aren’t indexed by conventional search engines. You must use a special web browser to access the dark web. monitoring, stolen wallet protection, Equifax monitoring, and up to $1.05 million in theft insurance (up to $25,000 in stolen funds reimbursement, $25,000 in personal expense reimbursement, and $1 million in court costs and lawyer fees to pursue a theft case).

The LifeLock insurance offering is unique because it includes broad reimbursement of stolen funds, including cash theft. This is different from other theft insurance policies that only reimburse you when the thief gains access to your bank account and transfers money from your account to theirs (also called an unauthorized electronic fund transfer).

The ultimate plus includes everything the standard plan offers, plus:

  • Increased insurance coverage (the stolen funds and personal expense reimbursement increase to $1 million each)
  • TransUnion and Experian credit monitoring
  • Home title surveillance (monitors home title changes in ownership or financing with a new lender)
  • More expansive financial theft protection coverage (bank account, investment account, and credit card monitoring)

The ultimate plus for two adults provides the same coverage but for two people.

You can customize how you get alerts from LifeLock, whether it’s a text message, mobile app notification, email, phone call, or all four. LifeLock doesn’t have a family plan to include children under age 18, but the brand’s highest plan offers coverage for two adults. If you don’t have access to a smartphone or tablet to operate the phone application, you can assign another person as the account holder (like a family member, close friend, or caregiver), so they can monitor the app and receive notifications on your behalf.

If you also want to protect your devices, look into Norton 360 products, which are similar to LifeLock, but focus more on cybersecurity. Most plans come with software to block unwanted ads and popups as well as a virtual private network (VPN) A VPN is a service that helps you stay safe and private when browsing online. It works by encrypting the connection between your device and the internet. for added security when browsing.

Best Overall

Table 2 LifeLock plan comparison, as of January 2024

StandardUltimate PlusUltimate Plus for two adults
Cost per month$11.99$34.99$69.99
Annual cost$89.99$239.88$395.88
Number of credit bureaus monitored133
Credit, checking, and savings account activity alertsNoYesYes
Device protectionNo NoNo
Home title protectionNoYesYes
InsuranceUp to $1.05 millionUp to $3 millionUp to $3 million per person

Aura Identity Guard

Best Value Two-Adult Plan
Cost: $15–$45
60-day money-back guarantee (for all annual plans)
Insurance up to $1 million per adult
All plans monitor all three major credit bureaus
Why we chose

We chose Aura because it offers a two-adult plan at a reasonable price, as well as a 60-day trial with a money back guarantee if you don’t like it. The plan includes credit monitoring for all three major credit bureaus and identity theft insurance for up to $1 million per adult.

Pros and cons
Pros 14-day free trial All plans monitor all three major credit bureaus Discounted cost if you pay annually Device protection for up to 10 devices per adult on the plan Cons Pricing on website is inconsistent from what representatives quoted on the phone

Aura offers identity, financial, and device monitoring services and has three different plans based on the number of people you need covered: individual (one person), couple (two people), and family (up to five adults and unlimited minors). All plans provide up to $1 million in theft Insurance per adult, Experian credit lock, and the brand’s White Glove Fraud Resolution service to help if your identity is stolen.

Whenever you aren’t planning to open new accounts or make any purchases requiring a credit inquiry, you can use Experian credit lock to lock your credit profile. This prevents anyone from making inquiries on your credit and sends you an alert if someone tries. If your identity is stolen, the Aura White Glove Fraud Resolution service will go through each step of the restoration with you and can help you apply for replacement ID cards, a social security number (SSN), and credit cards. A team member can also be on the call to give you advice if you have any conversations with financial institutions or government agencies.

Plans also monitor:

  • Bank accounts
  • SSN use on the internet and dark web
  • Car and home titles
  • Spam calls and junk emails

If Aura detects that there may be fraud under your identity you’ll get an alert via text message, email, and through a smartphone application push notification. All customer service is based in the United States and is reachable 24/7.

We liked that Aura offers a discount if you pay for the year upfront, but the layout of the pricing was confusing on its website. Aura will automatically show you the annual price (because it’s cheaper), but you have to manually choose the monthly option to pay month-by-month (see example below). Be sure your selection is correct before paying.

While reviewing the Aura website, we found a link to an Aura special discount that brings the cost down significantly, but if you use the discount, you’ll be charged right away and won’t get the free 14-day trial to test the service. If you purchase a year of Aura (regular and discounted price) and aren’t satisfied, you have 60 days to reach out to the company, cancel your subscription, and get your money back.

Table 3 Aura plan comparison, as of January 2024

Cost per month$15$29$45
Number of credit bureaus monitored333
Credit, checking, and savings account activity alertsYesYesYes
Device protectionYes YesYes
Home title protectionYesYesYes
InsuranceUp to $1 millionUp to $1 million per adult ($2 million)Up to $1 million per adult ($5 million)


Best Identity Restoration
Cost: $14.95–$34.95
24/7 help with restoration and questions about your identity’s security
Choosing a plan is simple since they all come with identity, financial, and device protection
Why we chose

We chose IDShield as the “Best Identity Restoration” because it assigns licensed private investigators to your case and provides help 24/7 for any questions you have while restoring your identity. IDShield also guarantees restoration of your identity.

Pros and cons
Pros 30-day risk-free trial All plans come with device protection Choose between one and three credit bureau monitoring Cons Insurance amount doesn’t increase with more people Alerts via email and smartphone app only No discount for annual payment

IDShield offers identity, financial, and device monitoring services with four different plans based on two factors: the number of people covered and the number of credit bureaus monitored.

All plans have the same identity coverage per individual:

  • SSN monitoring
  • Identity threat alerts
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Public and court records monitoring (will also alert if your home title information is changed)
  • Address change monitoring
  • Medical data reports
  • Identity insights and tips

Individual plans cover up to three devices from viruses, malware, and ransomware, and family plans cover up to 15 devices. Devices can include smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Additionally, the one-bureau plan monitors your TransUnion credit profile, while the three-bureau plans monitor TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

We called IDShield for more information about what to expect from their service. A representative told us that after you create an account, you can access your protection overview using the mobile app or the IDShield website to manage the information you want monitored, or to add users to the account if you have a family plan.

If IDShield identifies a potential threat, you’ll get an alert via email, or a push notification from the IDShield mobile app if you have a smartphone. If getting a phone call or text message alert is important for you, consider using a different service, like LifeLock, which alerts you using several contact methods.

Table 4 IDShield plan comparison table, as of January 2024

Individual (one bureau)Individual (three bureau)Family (one bureau)Family (three bureau)
Cost per month$14.95$19.95$29.95$34.95
Number of credit bureaus monitored1313
Credit, checking, and savings account activity alertsYesYesYesYes
Device protectionYes YesYesYes
Home title protectionNoNoNoNo
InsuranceUp to $1 millionUp to $1 millionUp to $1 millionUp to $1 million


Best Medical Identity Theft Protection
Cost: $17.99–$35.99
Guarantees its team will help you correct and restore your identity if it’s compromised
Monitors your personal medical insurance number for fraud
Why we chose

We selected IdentityForce because it protects you against medical identity fraud by monitoring your insurance ID number in addition to basic identity theft protection.

Pros and cons
Pros Discount for paying annually instead of monthly Specifically monitors medical insurance ID number Identity remediation and restoration guarantee Cons Only highest tier plans include credit bureau monitoring Insurance amount doesn’t increase with more people

IdentityForce has identity, financial, and device monitoring services. Similar to IDShield, It offers four different plans based on two factors: the number of people covered and whether you want credit bureau monitoring.

The identity monitoring is the same for all plans with:

  • SSN tracking
  • Anti-phishing software
  • Bank and credit card monitoring
  • $1 million identity theft insurance and restoration service

One of the standout features of IdentityForce is its medical identity fraud protection. You’ll be alerted if an unauthorized person is using your medical insurance. IdentityForce does this by monitoring your medical insurance identification number and identifying any suspicious activity, like if someone submits a claim in a new location or for a large amount of money. This feature also comes with the IdentityForce guarantee that its team will help you repair and restore your identity if it’s compromised.

We like that IdentityForce provides multiple communication assurances, allowing you to choose between text messaging, email, or smartphone applications for alerts. If you don’t respond or log in to your account to check on the alert, IdentityForce will call you. If someone isn’t able to reach you, IdentityForce will put a credit freeze on the affected account until you contact them. This is to prevent further theft or damage to the account.

Table 5 IdentityForce plan comparison, as of January 2024

Ultrasecure (individual)Ultrasecure (family)Ultrasecure+Credit (individual)Ultrasecure+Credit (family)
Cost per month$17.99$24$23.99$35.99
Number of credit bureaus monitored0033
Credit, checking, and savings account activity alertsYesYesYesYes
Device protectionYesYesYesYes
Home title protectionNoNoNoNo
InsuranceUp to $1 millionUp to $1 millionUp to $1 millionUp to $1 million

What is identity theft?

Identity theft, sometimes called identity fraud, is a category of crime where a criminal steals and uses another person’s personal identification information to defraud or deceive. This is usually for some form of economic gain, whether directly stealing from the victim or selling the victim’s information to someone else.

Personal identification information that can be stolen includes:

How does identity theft happen?

Identity theft happens when a criminal physically or virtually steals another person’s information. Physical theft typically occurs when a person steals your wallet and uses your credit card or driver’s license, but physical theft can take place in other ways as well, like:

Virtual theft usually involves the criminal attacking your computer system with a virus or malware to get access to your information. Criminals do this by using a technique called “phishing.” Phishing is when someone sends you an email pretending to be a reputable source to get you to do a certain action, whether it’s downloading an attached file or clicking on a link to visit the (fraudulent) site. The emails can look very convincing and often look exactly like genuine company emails.

Actions range from stealing your password when you try to log in to the fraudulent website, getting the answers to your security questions, or asking you to send or confirm your credit card information for a “previous transaction.” Another example of virtual theft is when a person breaks into a company’s database to take customer information. This is called a data breach.

The important thing to know is that not all scams are easy to identify and oftentimes you may not even know your information has been stolen until it’s too late. See our section below for more information about how to prevent identity theft.

Types of identity theft

Identity theft covers a variety of crimes that are slightly different based on the end goal or the method by which they steal your information. All identity theft crimes aim to defraud the victim for some sort of gain (usually financial).


Identity theft is when a person uses your information to:

This type of theft can be quickly detected by using a credit monitoring service that sends you alerts when an inquiry on your credit is made, or by using a credit card like Capital One that sends you messages or alerts when a purchase is made on your card. If the inquiry or purchase was you, you can ignore it, but if not, you can immediately call the card or company and freeze the account.

Cryptocurrency scams

As interest in cryptocurrency rises, the presence of elaborate financial scams rise as well. Unlike physical money that’s stored in a centralized institution (like a bank) and printed through a centralized agency (like a government), cryptocurrency is created and stored virtually through decentralized systems throughout the world. 

This has inspired a virtual currency investment scam called “pig butchering,” where the investment victims (pigs) are tricked into investing large sums of money in cryptocurrency (fattened) for financial theft (slaughter). One way to protect yourself from this type of scam and other virtual currency investment scams is to be extremely careful when dealing with cryptocurrency. 


Medical identity theft involves a person using your insurance information. Identity thieves can use your insurance, name, and personal identification information to:

The best way to protect against this type of fraud is to keep your medical records as private as possible. You can do this by:

Usually this type of theft results in damage to the victim’s credit score, since the thief generally racks up medical bills under the victim’s name. Then, when the bill isn’t paid, it goes to a collection agency that ultimately flags the victim’s credit account. The debt usually won’t appear on your credit report until it’s been six months to a year since the bill was created. That means, in some cases, you may not know you’ve been a target of fraud until a year has passed. 

If you use a theft protection service that includes medical insurance monitoring, you’ll get notifications whenever your insurance number is used for a claim, which can increase your success of protecting yourself from further fraud and restoring your identity.


Online identity theft is when the criminal uses your computer, tablet, or smartphone to get access to your personal information. These fraudsters will impersonate you online, make purchases, and log in to your accounts or profiles. Many times the thief may just monitor your account and login information and sell it to another person who uses your information for financial gain.

Another variety of online scams involve social engineering. This is where “a bad actor impersonates a loved one or person of authority to extract sensitive or financial information,” said Jim Van Dyke, senior principal and head of innovation at TransUnion. This is commonly called the “grandparent scam.” Van Dyke also shared that hackers often use “romance scams and fraud related to the collection of their government benefits” when trying to get an older adult’s personal information.

The best way to protect against someone getting your information is to use a VPN or security software, which can prevent a hacker from gaining access to your browser. But cybersecurity can’t protect your information from being stolen by physical means (wallet theft or a credit card skimmer). This is where an identity theft protection service can help. These services monitor the use of your personal information on the internet and can identify when someone is pretending to be you or is using your information to create new accounts or profiles. This helps you to catch the fraud fast and prevent further damage.

Artificial intelligence scams

New artificial intelligence (AI) scams are taking the “grandparent” scam mentioned above to a whole new level. Rather than using an email or undisguised phone call to extract information and money, scammers are using voice cloning AI technology and phone spoofing to impersonate an emergency call from children, grandchildren, siblings, and spouses. Usually, it’s a call to your phone from the contact of someone in your family (this is simulated using phone spoofing technology). The caller says they are in an emergency situation (jail, car accident, or even a robbery) and they need you to wire money or give your account number to them so they can initiate a transfer of money for some purpose. 

These phone calls can sound identical to your family member, and they look as though they are coming from your family member’s phone. 

If you ever get one of these distressing calls, there are some things you can do to protect yourself: 

  1. Ask one or two questions to the caller to try and confirm whether they are who they claim to be. Ask something unique that only your family member would know. Experts we speak with also recommended having a safety word that only you and your close family members know to use during emergency situations.
  2. Hang up the phone, go to that family member’s contact in your phone, or dial their number directly on the keypad, and call them. While phone spoofing makes it look like your contact is calling, the hacker doesn’t actually have access to that line and can’t use that line to take calls. That means when you call the number yourself, you’ll get through to your family member so you can talk to them about the situation and confirm whether they are in an emergency.
  3. Call another family member and ask if they’ve heard from the caller in question. Try to call a spouse or someone who lives with the caller.

These tactics can help you find out what’s going on quickly and prevent you from further fraud and theft. Some identity theft protection software includes spam-blocking software for your phone, which can potentially block these types of calls

How to prevent identity theft

Preventing identity theft is even harder now than it was in the past, and it’s nearly impossible to completely protect your information from theft. The best way to prevent identity theft is to keep your personal information protected. You can do this by: 

If you want an extra layer of security you can use an identity theft protection service to monitor your personal information online and send you alerts if there is a suspicious activity involving your SSN or other important personal data.

Importance of identity theft protection service

Identity theft protection services can’t prevent your information from being stolen—but they can help you prevent further damage by stopping activity before it gets out of hand. Financial monitoring is certainly one of the most beneficial features of these services, but many times this is the last step in the theft process. 

At that point, the fraudster has likely already used your name, SSN, or banking information to make the transaction you’re seeing in the alert. Selecting a theft protection service that monitors your personal information can help you prevent a financial breach by freezing your accounts as soon as suspicious activity is detected.

Hiring an identity theft protection service is specifically recommended for those who have been:

Identity theft protection service cost

On average, identity theft protection costs $15 per month for one adult and around $40 per month for two or more people. Many plans also offer a discount if you pay for the year upfront instead of monthly. Prices vary based on how many people you want to cover and the extent of the coverage. 

It’s important to note that one of the most expensive parts of ID theft protection is the credit monitoring feature, which specifically partners with one or all three of the popular credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) to lock your credit profile when you aren’t using it and to send alerts immediately after someone tries to use it. If you already subscribe to credit report alerts or use a credit card that comes with complimentary credit monitoring, you might not need to choose an identity theft protection plan that offers credit monitoring. This can save you a significant amount of money since that’s the most expensive feature. 

As added financial security, most of the plans we reviewed above that don’t specifically offer credit monitoring will still monitor your other financial accounts (checking, savings, and retirement accounts) and alert you if there’s suspicious spending.

Choosing an identity theft protection service

Ultimately, your choice of theft protection will depend on what features are most important to you. We suggest making a top three list of concerns that need to be addressed and then finding a service that meets those needs. It might make sense for you to prioritize certain protections over others. For example, if you don’t need device coverage for phones and tablets, you might look into services that focus only on identity and financial protection, like LifeLock. If you already have credit monitoring through a credit card or credit bureau, then it might make sense to select a more affordable service that doesn’t include credit monitoring, like IdentityForce, which is $24 per month for a family plan. 

Review methodology 

To create our list of the best identity theft protection services, we gathered information on the top providers in the space based on various ranking factors, such as:

Bottom line

It’s nearly impossible to prevent someone from accessing your personal information, but by being alert and aware, you can put safeguards in place to lessen the damage and secure your accounts from theft. Choosing an identity theft protection service that monitors your sensitive information on the internet and sends timely alerts can keep your identity, money, and accounts safe.

While some ID theft protection services only offer alerts, we’ve only selected services that help you lock your account if theft is detected and restore your identity after it has been stolen.

Frequently asked questions

The best defenses are avoiding phishing scams, being careful about who you give your personal information to, and having an identity theft monitoring service in place to alert you if your personal information is being used without your authorization.

Identity theft protection is worth investing in if you’ve been flagged by a credit bureau as a high risk for identity theft, you have been a victim of fraud in the past, or you want to be proactive and keep your identity secure.

Signs of identity theft include unknown or suspicious transactions on your bank accounts or credit card statements, alerts that you have had an inquiry on your credit but you haven’t requested one, or if you get any kind of mail that implies you made an action that you did not. For example, you get a letter that thanks you for applying for a credit card or home loan. If you get this type of message in an email or text, though, do not click on the link or call the number. Contact the financial institution directly or the Federal Trade Commission for advice instead.

You can report identity theft to The Federal Trade Commission online at or call 877-438-4338. If you want immediate help to restore your identity you can call an identity theft protection service to help you recover your information and get replacement documents if they have been stolen.

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. National Council on Identity Theft Protection. 2023 Identity Theft Facts and Statistics. Found on the internet at
  2. DeLiema, M., et al. Identity Theft Among Older Adults: Risk and Protective Factors. Innovation in Aging. December 2020. Found on the internet at
  3. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. FinCEN Issues Alert on Prevalent Virtual Currency Investment Scam Commonly Known as “Pig Butchering.” Sept. 8, 2023. Found on the internet at
  4. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice. What to Know About Medical Identity Theft. May 2021. Found on the internet at
  5. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice. Scammers Use AI to Enhance Their Family Emergency Schemes. March 20, 2023. Found on the internet at
  6. Federal Communication Commission. Caller ID Spoofing. March 7, 2022. Found on the internet at
  7. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice. How to Block Unwanted Calls. July 2023. Found on the internet at,Fake%20Numbers%20on%20Caller%20ID,-Call%20blocking%20technology
Miranda Riva is a writer and licensed Tennessee attorney who has written and edited legal content covering the topics of family law, business law, criminal law, environmental law, and estate law.
Christopher Norman Headshot
Christopher Norman Medical Reviewer
Christopher Norman is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. As a nurse’s aide, registered nurse and now nurse practitioner, he has loved working with older adults since 2004.
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