​Pratibha Nanduri - ReadITQuick - Aug 08, 2017

Identity theft and cybercrime are issues that are becoming bigger every day. ID Experts, a leading provider of concierge-style data breach and identity protection services, has recently introduced MyIDCare Benefits Plus, a fully-managed solution and app for identity protection that offers employees security as well as peace of mind. The solution includes identity monitoring and recovery services which are alert-based, apart from a $1 million reimbursement insurance.

We speak with Rick Kam, president and co-founder of ID Experts to find out about MyIDCare Benefits Plus, data protection, and security threats that businesses and agencies face. Rick is a privacy and information security expert and has extensive experience in helping organizations protect PHI/PII and remediate privacy incidents, identity theft, and medical identity theft. With over 30 years of experience in the technology industry, Rick leads and participates in several cross-industry data privacy groups, speaks at conferences and webinars, and regularly contributes articles to industry and business publications.


Please tell us about the company ID Experts—the idea behind it, the products, and the vision for the company.

The genesis of the idea came from a presentation we had seen on identity theft insurance being offered as an employee benefit in 2002. The problem was, if an employee became a victim of identity theft, they would spend 30 to 100 hours contacting the DMV, banks, and other organizations where an identity thief had used their information. This effort would be done during 8 am to 5 pm when these organizations were open, negatively impacting their productivity at work. We realized that by offering a concierge style of identity recovery service, we could minimize the productivity impact saving the company thousands of dollars and helping the employee reduce their level anxiety and stress. Our vision is to provide an exceptional employee experience when this problem occurs, which happens to 1 in 20 employees each year.


You recently introduced MyIDCare Benefits Plus. How does this help organizations protect data and ensure its security?

The number of data breaches has increased dramatically over the past few years with over 1,000 being reported in 2016 – three breaches every day. Many of these breaches were caused by phishing attacks on employees to steal their email and passwords, which were then used by criminals to access company systems and data. MyIDCare helps make your employees aware of the current cyber threats and scams like these phishing attacks so they protect their corporate credentials and reduce the risk of a data breach occurring.


Whitepaper: Protect your Employees from the New Dangerous Realities of Identity Theft.


Does MyIDCare Benefits Plus empower employees to take on the responsibility of data protection and therefore prevent organizational security vulnerabilities due to them?

Yes. MyIDCare provides alerts for changes to financial, public records, and now medical identity information, which empowers the employee to take action and to protect themselves and improve overall cyber security at work, home, or other places where their personal information may become vulnerable.


Does MyIDCare Benefits Plus also address employee identity risks? What kind of employee identity risks does it cover?

MyIDCare covers the nine types of identity theft risk. Medical identity theft can be deadly because it can introduce false information into a person’s digital medical record. Medical identity theft also consumes medical benefits and leaves victims facing bills for medical treatments they didn’t receive. Recovery from medical identity theft is complicated because of healthcare privacy laws. As a result, individuals spend valuable time and money trying to restore their identities.

  1. Financial Identity Theft: This is the most common form of identity fraud. Criminals use stolen credit cards or card numbers to purchase goods and services. If it’s not detected in time, credit card fraud can consume a victim’s accounts and affect their credit rating. In addition, thieves can use stolen bank account numbers, debit card numbers, or other personal and financial information to wipe out accounts, take out loans, or get new credit cards.
  2. Child Identity Theft: Children tend to have little or no financial history, and thieves assume that no one is checking a child’s credit report. Criminals can use a child’s Social Security Number to falsely claim dependent children or welfare payments from the government, and to create fake ID documents that they can use to apply for loans or even commit crimes. When the child becomes financially independent, they may find their credit rating is ruined.
  3. Social Security Identity Theft: Social Security numbers are one of the most valuable pieces of personal information stolen in data breaches. With a Social Security number thieves can access a victim’s taxes and work history, bank accounts, credit cards, loans, government benefits such as Medicare and Medicaid, and sometimes even medical records. They can use it to get a loan or a passport, file for a tax return in the victim’s name, or claim their retirement benefits.
  4. Driver’s License Identity Theft: Criminals can alter the picture on a driver’s license and sell it to someone who fits the description on the license, or they may use the number to create a completely fake ID card. If the imposter is caught for a traffic violation, drunk driving, or drug-related charge, the crime goes on the victim’s record. When the violator doesn’t show up in court, police will look for the victim. Driver’s licenses are also shown to cash checks, pass domestic airport security, get insurance, and to provide identification for many activities, so an imposter could commit all kinds of crimes that would be traced back to a victim.
  5. Criminal Identity Theft: A thief can commit crimes undercover by using a victim’s name and identity. When the police are called or the criminals are cited or arrested, law enforcement will be given the name of the identity theft victim, resulting in a warrant or a criminal record. This can lead to problems with employment background checks, or even result in legal action and possible arrest.
  6. Employment Identity Theft: Employers are now required to see a Social Security card, passport, or other personal document to verify citizenship before hiring someone. Fake or stolen IDs are sometimes used to get jobs by illegal residents or those with a criminal history that would show up in a background check. Victims learn about this kind of theft when they receive a W-2 from an unknown employer or a Social Security statement that doesn’t match their employment history.
  7. Insurance Identity Theft: Thieves can use stolen identities to claim insurance and other benefits. For example, someone using a stolen identity could have an accident (or multiple accidents) and make auto insurance claims. Insurance identity fraud can result in higher premiums, denial of insurance, or legal action if the insurance company discovers the fraud and blames it on the victim.
  8. Synthetic Identity Theft: Thieves can use information from several different people to create a new identity, which they can then use to commit many types of fraud. The person whose phone number is used may end up getting calls from angry creditors, and the person whose address is used may get collections letters or even summons. The person whose Social Security Number or driver’s license number is used can face ruined credit or even criminal charges.
  9. Medical Identity Theft: The fastest-growing and most dangerous category is medical identity theft. This can occur when a thief takes or uses a victim’s health insurance information for personal use. But the greater danger occurs when hackers breach healthcare organizations and steal massive amounts of medical identities. They wholesale these identities in batches, typically on the Dark Web, or to sham clinics or medical device distributors, which in turn bill insurance companies.


Who do you see as your top competitors? How do you differentiate your offerings/ services from those offered by your competitors?

ID protection is offered by several competitors, which include the credit bureaus and companies like Lifelock. Our differentiation starts with the concierge level of customer service, valued by employers and employees when they fall victim to identity theft. We have found over the past 14 years that this is the “moment of truth” for identity protection services. When an employee realizes they have a problem, they want a real expert to help them resolve it quickly and effectively. When their lives are turned upside down without notice, they don’t want to deal with a bot or a phone tree. They don’t want to be told that they can’t be helped because they are a victim of a credit card scam and not a real victim of identity theft. They want to talk with a human being who understands what they are going through and who has empathy. We ensure your employees get the help they need no matter what happened so they feel good about the service. We have a Net Promoter score of 64, which is exceptionally high.


What are your thoughts on the way security threats are expected to develop? How will this affect data protection? What are the major trends that would affect this segment?

We have seen identity theft migrate from being committed by organized crime groups to nation states over the past two years. We expect to continue to see this trend into the future with Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China involved in high profile cyber hacking and espionage. We also see that IoT devices are now being used to breach corporate data networks. Data protection will need to be predictive versus reactive. We will see data analytics, machine learning, AI in new products and services offered to consumers to enhance identity protection.


And how is your company equipped to be part of the growth story?

We are delivering the next generation of identity protection today by offering our patented medical identity monitoring technology as part of MyIDCare Benefits Plus. We have product enhancements planned to offer “smart alerts” that help stop identity theft before it happens by working with partners who can provide banks with data breach risk scores.


What is the one thing about ID Experts that you would like our readers to know right now?

We are the most trusted company in identity protection – protecting 25 million members with MyIDCare today.


What are the 3 top technologies the IT leaders need to watch out for?

Mobile, IOT, and wearable technology. Each of these technologies creates more end points to secure, significantly increasing the challenge for IT leaders who are charged with securing data.



Article originally published on ReadITQuick