Just found out that Home Depot is offering 12 months of identity protection – FREE – to anyone who may have made a purchase between April and September in 2014 (at any of their stores in the US or CAN).
I just signed up and received coverage for USA and CAN at no cost. (Note: You do not need both…but I did, just to test it.)
The process is not as easy nor transparent for Canadians and it is different for Americans and Canadians customers:
- For AMERICANS (you need a US address) go to: https://homedepot.allclearid.com/
- For CANADIANS you simply send an email to: HDCanadaEnrollment@Equifax.com with just your First and Last Name in the subject line (I suggest placing it in the body of the email too)
In both cases they send you a pin or subscription number and instructions on how to use it. (The US reply was sent right away, the Canadian Equifax email came the next day, so expect a delay).
- Given the massive size of the breach (56 million credit and debit cards in 5 months!) , they do not ask you to provide evidence of purchases (ie receipts, dates etc) made during this time frame, so in theory, it appears ANYONE could add this service and get free protection for a year.
- No credit card details were requested or required.
- For Canadians you get a free 12 month trial subscription (worth $200 annual) with Equifax. If you already have an account with Equifax and they have your credit card on file, YOU MAY be automatically charged for renewing this service after 12 months unless you tell them before then…so make sure you diarize and check in before the time is up. This needs to be confirmed.
- You do not need to sign up for both American and Canadian Identity Protection…but I did, just to test it.
- With Equifax you will get the Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan for free for 12 months.
- WebDetect™ (Internet Scanning): Receive alerts when we detect your personal information (e.g. SIN or credit card number) is being used on the Internet.
- NOTE: I tried to add this service (And I recommend you do!) but it never worked for me…could have been their WebDetect service was down or the sign up for this page was not compatible with the browser I was using. If you encounter problems, try again later or use a different browser. I will try again too.
- Lost Wallet Assist: One-stop assistance in cancelling and reissuing your credit or debit cards, driver’s license, SIN cards, insurance cards, passport and traveler’s cheques when your wallet is lost or stolen
- 24/7 credit monitoring with email notifications of key changes to your credit profile
- Unlimited Equifax Credit Score™ and Report
- Up to $50,000 of identity theft insurance†
- View how your score trends over time
- DURING ENROLLMENT WITH EQUIFAX MAKE SURE you select the 12 month plan and not the default monthly plan when you subscribe
- Finally as always, key a close eye on your credit card statements and bank statements for anything unusual. Fraudsters usually “test” a credit card or debit card account validity with small amounts at first.
- Fingers crossed you were not one of the 56 million credit cards or debt cards breached. If you are, with this added protection and the financial responsibility resting on your financial institution and credit card company you should be covered.
- As an aside, why Home Depot (or any retailer that is breached) gets off the financial hook for fraud loses is another issue. Perhaps the class action law suit started against Home Depot will hold them more accountable. Generally, you are not responsible for fraudulent purchases as long as you report them to your financial institution or credit card company within a certain time period. Check your agreements.
More details about the Home Depot breach are at: https://corporate.homedepot.com/MediaCenter/Pages/Statement1.aspx
Tips and Keys to Customer Protection (PDF) at: https://corporate.homedepot.com/MediaCenter/Documents/Keys_to_Customer_Protection.pdf