Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

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lynneny
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Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by lynneny » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:37 pm

When I tried to freeze my credit at TransUnion, they tried to persuade me to instead sign up for their True Identity product, making it sound like it's just like a credit freeze, but free. The freeze would cost $15.

So why does TransUnion want me to use their free product, rather than the one they could charge me $15 for? I'm guessing there's some reason it's better for them, and probably not for me, but I can't figure out what it is.

In the end the site told me to try again later, so I'm trying to figure out before I go back whether to do the credit freeze or True Identify.

So far I've frozen my credit at Experian (took 5 minutes, wasn't charged a fee, and got to choose my pin). Equifax keeps telling me to try again later.

RudyS
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by RudyS » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:57 pm

All the bureaus have premium products for which there is a charge. I am sure TU will try to sell you that. It's a business model. I use "free" AVG anti-virus, they continually offer premium (at a cost) products.


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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by tfb » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:54 pm

Because they believe they can make more money out of those who sign up than those who do the freeze. It's on the entire group, not necessarily you specifically as an individual. If 2/3 make them $50 each and 1/3 makes them $0, they are still ahead than charging $15 each to all three.
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Ndop » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:55 am

TrueIdentity must make them more money than a freeze. Maybe TrueIdentity and freeze accomplish similar level of security, except with TrueIdentity you get more offers/ads. Or maybe TrueIdentity is not as secure. I have not seen any certainty about this after researching this the past several days. To be safe, I went with the freeze.

lynneny
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by lynneny » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:12 pm

Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go with the credit freeze, too.

bikechuck
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by bikechuck » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:15 pm

The spousal unit and I went with the True Identity option. Hopefully an OK choice.

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by aqan » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:49 pm

I didn't bother to read the fine print but I'm sure the answer lies in there.

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jhfenton
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by jhfenton » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:59 pm

bikechuck wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:15 pm
The spousal unit and I went with the True Identity option. Hopefully an OK choice.
My wife and I did the same. It offers more flexibility and appears to offer a comparable level of security.

The best I can tell, TrueIdentity (1) allows them to avoid the specific regulatory framework for security freezes, (2) preserves certain credit file monetization strategies, and (3) gives them an opportunity to upsell you on their premium credit protection products and otherwise profit from the "targeted offers" that J G Bankerton referenced.

I'm OK with all of that.

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:06 pm

Because the credit reporting agencies hate credit freezes, fought against them, and we only have them because of state legislation.

What credit reporting agencies have to sell is your information. Not all of it relates to creditworthiness, and not all of their clients buying that data want it for the purpose of extending you credit.

A credit freeze blocks the agency from selling your information. It's an existential threat to them.

At the moment, according to a random page that came up in a Google search, only about 1% of adults have frozen their credit. That means that the credit reporting agencies' customers know that they can pull a report on virtually everyone, 99% of everyone, with rare exception. I have to wonder how the whole credit reporting business changes if, as a result of the Equifax breach, this changes.

All of these other services are ways of reducing your risks of fraud or identity theft without interfering with their business of selling your information.
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lynneny
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by lynneny » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:50 pm

Thanks Nisiprius, that's a very helpful explanation.

I think I like the idea of interfering with Equifax's business of selling my information :)

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Top99% » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:26 am

lynneny wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:50 pm
Thanks Nisiprius, that's a very helpful explanation.

I think I like the idea of interfering with Equifax's business of selling my information :)
+1 on thanking Nisiprius. If a lot of targets (er, I meant customers) of Experian and Transunion do end up getting freezes I could see Experian and Transunion suing Equifax. I could also see them pushing very hard to ban or charge a lot of money for credit freezes.
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Yukon » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:35 am

Because the credit bureaus sell our information to their customers. These agencies make money by selling behavioral information to businesses and if your credit is locked than it's less valuable for selling. They are not in the business of protecting privacy but in achieving sales quotas which can explain equifax's loyalty appears to be with their customers. (banks, credit card companies). We are NOT their customers!
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:08 am

I logged into one of our credit card accounts this morning that uses TransUnion to report your weekly credit score. New this time was a pop-up indicating that we now had a "security freeze" on the credit file at TransUnion but that they would still be able to show the credit score.

As I said earlier, we opted for the free True Identity service and "credit lock," but it apparently looks like a "security freeze" to our credit card. :beer

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Nutmeg » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:08 pm

I skimmed the terms of service for freezing and locking credit with TransUnion. If you lock with TrueIdentity, you agree to arbitration (but probably with regard to just TrueIdentity's service, not to TransUnion) and you agree to receive promotional materials. If you choose to freeze with TransUnion, you don't agree to either if you uncheck the box agreeing to receive promotions. I chose to pay the fee and lock. I already have credit monitoring and don't expect to initiate many credit-related transactions in the future.

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by sonos » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:45 pm

At the time of the breach I had frozen mine on line and there were "no charges" and it took 15 minutes at the most.

I had not thought about needing to do my wife's so a few minutes ago I just completed hers. I went to all 3 again on line to freeze my wife's and were charged $10 for two and nothing by Equifax. Equifax did take a couple of tries.

Unless I overlooked it I didn't notice a thing about "True Identity" but then I knew I only wanted to freeze the accounts.

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by nova148 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:07 pm

So, the question really is - Do I give them $10-$15 now (to freeze credit file) or let them make some money by marketing my information to interested parties (via True Identity). Any idea on how much they might make by selling information about an individual? At least, I can take the path of maximum impact to their bottom line.

In principle, I agree I don't want to promote their business by allowing them to market my information but then, not sure paying them $10-$15 now is any better because it's almost free money for them. Either case, as always, the consumer loses..... :(

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:01 pm

Those looking to freeze their credit should read this wiki article: Credit freeze

Fees to freeze credit reports vary by state. There are no fees if you are over 65 and live in PA, for example.
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nova148
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by nova148 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:29 pm

Thanks LadyGeek. In my state, it's $10 to freeze :annoyed

Dead Man Walking
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Dead Man Walking » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:50 pm

When I tried to freeze my credit at Transunion, I was informed that I had an account with them after I had entered my personal data. About ten years ago, my information was on a disc that was "misplaced" by a health care provider. The health care provider gave me a subscription for a year to Transunion's premium credit monitoring program. I had forgotten about it until I was told that I already had an account with them. Of course, I had forgotten my username and password and had to go through the typical forgotten username and password link. When I was able to log in, I was thanked for updating my information and shown a screen advertising credit monitoring for $19.95/month. I was unable to return to the freeze credit screen. I was not able to reach them by telephone.

I then tried to freeze my wife's credit using the Transunion web site. I was able to enter her personal information, request a freeze, and enter a credit card number for the $5 fee. When I tried to continue, I was informed that the freeze could not be processed at that time. I'll have to check my credit card charges to determine whether or not the charge was made to the card.

BTW, I was able to freeze our credit with Equifax with no problems. I wasn't impressed with Transunion's premium credit monitoring program a decade ago. My opinion of their service has not improved by my recent experience!

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by dr_g » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:41 am

Transunion's "True Identity" product (free - for now) looks just like Experian's "Trusted ID" product (free until November due to breach). They both allow free locks and unlocks.
- I assume lock and unlock is the same as freeze and unfreeze, but I have doubts, since Credit Reporting Agencies are not to be trusted. I plan on Googling the distinction.
- To your question, the services allow them to reach out to you for future marketing in a more direct way, but I personally signed up for both TrueIdentity and TrustedID services, rather than freezing (and being faced with unfreezing in a number of situations such as credit checks by auto and home insurance companies)
- I'm trying to decide what to do about Experian and the smaller reporting agencies like ChexSystems, Innovis, and Sagestream

I'm taking my response to this epic breach one step at a time. I am assuming that my personal information will be exposed to crooks forever. I also feel there may be unintended consequences if you move too quickly and I don't want to spend my life rearranging my credit reporting.

I don't feel there is an immediate threat. Experts believe that the probability of being a victim of ID theft is about 5%. In addition, there is a good chance that the underworld will wait a year or so before using the perfectly connected data for 143 million of us and they deploy foot soldiers to use the data they can buy fro $30 on the dark web. Maybe the wholesalers can add value by selling instructions on how to maximize their haul.

Reminds me of Credit Reporting Agencies!

J G Bankerton
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by J G Bankerton » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:42 pm

Insurers usually don't tell one they are doing credit checks, it's in the fine print one already agreed to. Some have gotten rate increases; when they ask why they were told because they were not able to do a credit check.

There are so many little things. The USPS now offers to send one notification and a picture of all letter size mail that will be delivered within a few days. They use a credit reporting agency to do an ID check before one can create an account.

eastpodunk
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by eastpodunk » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:01 pm

Per Consumer Reports, a Freeze is better than a Lock:

https://www.consumerreports.org/credit- ... edit-lock/

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camillus
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by camillus » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:28 pm

Imagine you have a neighbor across the street that all day stands in his yard with binoculars in hand watching what you do and writing it down. This neighbor then puts out an ad and sells his notes on everything that you do.

How friendly do you want to be with this neighbor?

I froze my credit x 5. This entire business model is an invasion of privacy.

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by Longtermgrowth » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:23 pm

lynneny wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:37 pm
When I tried to freeze my credit at TransUnion, they tried to persuade me to instead sign up for their True Identity product, making it sound like it's just like a credit freeze, but free. The freeze would cost $15.

So why does TransUnion want me to use their free product, rather than the one they could charge me $15 for? I'm guessing there's some reason it's better for them, and probably not for me, but I can't figure out what it is.

In the end the site told me to try again later, so I'm trying to figure out before I go back whether to do the credit freeze or True Identify.

So far I've frozen my credit at Experian (took 5 minutes, wasn't charged a fee, and got to choose my pin). Equifax keeps telling me to try again later.
How in the world does TransUnion cost $15 to freeze, yet Experian cost nothing to freeze? If it's $15 in your state to freeze, Experian should be the same cost as TransUnion. Equifax is the only agency that currently doesn't charge for a freeze, ending 1-31-2018, from what I've heard...

I think the answer to your question about TransUnion lock vs freeze lies in the fine print (arbitration provision), along with the fact that they can still make money off of you with the lock. The good points about the lock vs freeze that I've found, is that the lock should still allow low threat pulls from employers, insurance companies, government. In my state, among most other states, insurance premiums will likely go up if they can't access one's credit report. :annoyed

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:09 am

A freeze (hopefully) prevents someone from fraudulently opening a new credit account under your name. Does TrueIdentity do that as well?
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by DiggleRex » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 am

lynneny wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:37 pm
So far I've frozen my credit at Experian (took 5 minutes, wasn't charged a fee, and got to choose my pin). Equifax keeps telling me to try again later.
I think it's safe to assume that anytime one of these companies is pushing one thing over another, that it's in their interest and not ours. If the companies had any interest in actually viewing us as the customer rather than the product, we wouldn't be in this whole mess. All the articles I've read on freeze vs lock point to the fact that the devil is in the fine print, and since a lock is not regulated by law, each lock may work differently and have different fine print.

The security of the TU online freeze account (and PW recovery process) is laughable (except not actually funny). I don't understand why these companies aren't using at a minimum, two factor, where you need a one time text + password etc to log in or make changes. :(

Why were you not charged at Experian?

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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by afan » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:47 am

We went with freezes rather than locks. The locks are new, seem to be unregulated and it is entirely unclear what they do. The language was vague and as CR points out the companies may be able to change what it means to lock. With a freeze they have to follow the laws.

I am not sure it is true that even a freeze prevents them from selling your name and information to marketers. My understanding, and I am far from being an expert, is that it blocks them from selling your CREDIT REPORT, but that everything else is still fair game. So they could not put you on a list that gave companies your credit rating, SSN or so forth. But they could still list you in a list of "men, 25-50 years old, who recently bought new high powered sports sedans", or some other group that would appeal to a company.

I am not a lawyer and I have not tried to look up and read what exactly is covered by freeze laws, but I would love to know.

I have had freezes on in the past and they did not seem to stop targeted marketing. It is possible the lists were compiled by organizations other than the credit agencies...
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DiggleRex
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Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:08 am

I recently created a freeze account with TU & placed the freeze. I have some questions about their free TrueIdenity service. I assume even if one has a freeze account, they have to create a separate account with TrueIdentity (it’s a different URL)? Would one even be able to create a TrueIdentity account with the freeze in place or would a temporary lift be required first? Also, is it worth signing up just to have “free unlimited report refreshes?” I currently have a credit karma account which covers Equifax and TU (although, it’s definitely a simplified report that doesn’t show everything the annualcreditreport.com report shows). Also have the free Experian report through Experian (updates once a month)—this one isn’t as detailed as yearly free report either. I’m currently frozen at big 3 + Innovis. I feel like having/creating all these different accounts and logins is a risk in and of itself. If it’s currently frozen, and only unfrozen when necessary, and I can view TU through credit karma, is it still beneficial to also have the TU trueidentity account just for alerts etc? Thanks for any recommendations.

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