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Is Experian IdentityWorks Worth It? What To Know

Experian’s identity protection service pays special attention to credit monitoring — but can leave you vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals.

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      Is Experian IdentityWorks Legit?

      With its direct connection to one of the three major credit bureaus, Experian IdentityWorks is in a unique position to help protect your credit from scammers and fraudsters — but is it the best option for you in 2024?

      The bottom line is that if you’re looking for an identity theft and fraud protection service, you need to be careful about whom you trust with your most sensitive personal information. One concern that prospective IdentityWorks customers should be aware of, is that:

      Experian suffered a massive data breach in 2021 that compromised the personal information of over 220 million customers [*].

      In this guide, we’ll review the features, pros, and cons of Experian IdentityWorks, as well as how it compares with some of the other top identity theft protection providers out there, including Aura. 

      By the end, you’ll have everything you need to answer the question: Is Experian IdentityWorks worth it? 

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      Experian IdentityWorks Review: Features, Plans, and Cost

      Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus (along with Equifax and TransUnion) that allows people to track their credit reports and scores. 

      Experian IdentityWorks is the bureau’s consumer subscription service which provides, among other things, credit monitoring, identity monitoring, identity theft insurance, and more. 

      It’s important to note that Experian IdentityWorks isn’t an “all-in-one” option. It doesn’t include antivirus software, a virtual private network (VPN), password manager, or other digital security tools that are now standard with more modern providers like Aura. 

      However, what sets Experian IdentityWorks apart from other services is its free plan. Anyone can sign up for an IdentityWorks account to receive one-bureau credit monitoring (Experian), FICO® score monitoring and tracking, and a personal privacy plan — but that’s it. 

      This limited feature set can be helpful, but it won’t keep you safe from fraud and identity theft. Instead, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to get access to features, including:

      • Three-bureau credit monitoring. Experian offers three-bureau credit monitoring services on all of its paid plans (the free plan only includes Experian monitoring); You’ll get updates about changes in your credit file or credit information with all three bureaus. 
      • FICO® score tracking and updates. Tracking helps you anticipate changes to your FICO Score based on your spending behavior and credit usage over time. A sudden drop in your credit score can also be a warning sign of identity theft. 
      • Dark Web monitoring. IdentityWorks scans the Dark Web for hacks or leaks and alerts you if your Social Security number (SSN) or credit card numbers are found on the Dark Web.
      • Experian CreditLock. You can lock your Experian credit file to guard against identity fraud and prevent unauthorized credit card activity. You’ll also receive alerts if someone tries to open a bank account in your name. (Note: IdentityWorks doesn’t include account monitoring and can’t warn you about suspicious transactions in your bank account).
      • Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. If you become the victim of identity theft, IdentityWorks includes insurance up to $1 million in maximum reimbursement for eligible losses, plus a fraud resolution specialist to help with your case.
      • Identity monitoring and alerts. This service offers monitoring and alerts for potential fraudulent activity related to critical elements of your identity, like your SSN, change of address, payday loan applications, and court records.

      Compared to competitors such as LifeLock, Experian IdentityWorks offers simple protection plans. There’s a free Basic plan that offers barebones credit and identity monitoring, a Premium plan with more advanced features, and a Family plan that includes child identity monitoring.

      Here’s a breakdown of what you get with each Experian IdentityWorks plan:

      Plan
      Cost
      Key features
      Basic
      Free
      • Free Experian credit report and FICO® Scores
      • Credit monitoring and alerts from Experian
      • Dark Web surveillance report
      • Personal privacy scan
      Premium
      $24.99/month (7-day free trial)
      Everything in the Basic plan, plus:
      • Monthly privacy scans
      • Help to get personal information removed from sites
      • Three-bureau credit monitoring
      • Alerts for account takeovers, change of address, Social Security number trace, court records, non-credit loans, and sex offender registry
      • Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance
      • Help from dedicated fraud resolution specialists
      Family
      $34.99/month (7-day free trial)
      Everything included in the Premium plan, plus:
      • Access and protection for one additional adult
      • Identity monitoring for your children (maximum of 10)
      🥇 Identity theft protection doesn’t have to be complicated (or costly!) Aura’s all-in-one intelligent safety app provides strong protection, fast alerts, and transparent pricing. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      Who Can Benefit the Most From Using Experian IdentityWorks?

      With so many competitors offering more feature-rich identity theft protection apps, Experian IdentityWorks isn’t right for everyone. However, you could be a good candidate for the service in these scenarios: 

      • You’re happy with free — but basic — credit monitoring. IdentityWorks' biggest benefit is its free plan, which offers free credit monitoring (Experian only) and FICO® score updates. If that's all you're after, the free plan could be a perfect fit. Remember, however, that this service doesn’t offer comprehensive digital protection.
      • You need to track your FICO® credit score. Experian IdentityWorks provides credit monitoring of your FICO® scores. It allows you to closely track your financial standing and keep an eye on inquiries, new credit applications, and even errors that could impact your score.
      • You already use other digital security tools. IdentityWorks lacks basic digital security, which can leave users vulnerable to hackers and scammers if they don’t have another option in place. If you already use digital security tools, IdentityWorks could be a decent (although expensive) way to add credit and identity monitoring to your security stack. 

      The bottom line: Experian IdentityWorks’ free plan won’t protect you against most forms of identity theft. Plus, the company’s Premium and Family plans offer quality identity theft protection services. Next, we’ll dig into IdentityWorks’ main features, how they protect you, and areas where they fall short.

      Experian IdentityWorks Features and Pros & Cons

      IdentityWorks doesn't cover every area of cybersecurity and falls short when compared to some competitors, like Aura’s all-in-one identity theft solution. That said, IdentityWorks can still be a viable option for the right person.

      Here are some of the pros and cons of Experian IdentityWorks:

      Experian IdentityWorks pros
      Experian IdentityWorks cons
      Free plan offers basic credit monitoring and scores.
      No digital security tools for protection against hacking and online scams.
      7-day free trial is included with all paid plans.
      Some users have complained about poor customer service (and limited availability) [*.
      One-time free Dark Web and personal privacy scans.
      Was the victim of a large data breach in the past.
      Discount available for paying annually.
      Once you become a member, you won’t be able to sue Experian over incorrect information on your credit report [*].
      You can add one extra adult and up to 10 children with a Family plan.
      Paid plans are more expensive than many competitors.
      Premium and Family plans include monitoring of all three credit bureaus.
      Basic plan does not include identity theft insurance or three-bureau monitoring.

      Now, let’s take a closer look at the main features to see how Experian IdentityWorks protects you — and where it falls short.

      Three-bureau credit monitoring and alerts

      As one of the big three credit bureaus, Experian pays special attention to credit protection and monitoring. With IdentityWorks Premium, you get three-bureau credit monitoring to warn you of changes and updates to your credit report. 

      However, as every American is entitled to free credit reports from all three bureaus each week at AnnualCreditReport.com, paid services must offer more to be worth the money. 

      Experian doesn't publish any specifics about how quickly it will alert you to fraud — meaning it could take days, weeks, or even months before you find out if you’re a victim of fraud. For example, a 2022 mystery survey survey found that Aura provided more consistent fraud alerts that were up to 250x faster than competitors3.

      How Experian IdentityWorks monitors and protects your credit:

      • Three-bureau credit monitoring. Experian IdentityWorks’ paid plans alert you to updates on your credit reports from all three major bureaus, helping you spot the early warning signs of fraud.
      • Experian CreditLock. Easily lock your Experian Credit File, and respond to suspicious activity before someone tries to fraudulently use your details to obtain a loan or credit card.
      • Account takeover alerts. IdentityWorks lets you know about attempted financial account takeovers so that you can take swift action to stop scammers in their tracks.
      • FICO® score tracker. The tracker divides your credit score into various sections, showing your strengths and weaknesses, plus potential actions to take to improve your score and standing in the eyes of financial lenders.
      • Non-credit loan alerts. Quickly detect and stop attempts from fraudsters to apply for payday loans and other non-credit loans in your name.

      Is Experian IdentityWorks worth it for credit monitoring? Speed and reliability are the most important factors when it comes to credit monitoring. However, some customers on third-party review sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) report issues with receiving and acting on fraud alerts from Experian [*]. 

      Dark Web monitoring and personal privacy scans

      It’s important to scan the unregulated and often untrustworthy areas of the internet known as the Dark Web. Cybercriminals could exploit you with fraud or identity theft if your personally identifiable information (PII) is leaked after a hack or data breach.

      How Experian IdentityWorks protects you from the Dark Web:

      • Regular scanning and alerts. Experian offers Dark Web surveillance on its IdentityWorks Plus and Premium plans. These services scan 600,000 pages every day and send notifications if they detect any risk to your personal information.
      • Free scans. You can scan your email address, phone number, and Social Security number for signs of fraud. 
      • Personal privacy scan. Experian's personal privacy scan can search for your information on data broker lists, including people finder sites. These sites display publicly accessible information that scammers could use to target you.

      Is Experian IdentityWorks worth it for Dark Web monitoring? If you’re willing to pay more for a Premium or Family plan, you’ll have more peace of mind — but there are less expensive options that offer similar or higher levels of protection.

      Identity theft insurance and fraud resolution support

      Identity theft insurance can cover financial losses if you are the victim of fraud, including reimbursement of legal fees. Also, with fraud resolution experts on the case, you can get the guidance you need to make a full recovery in less time.

      How Experian IdentityWorks protects you:

      • Users get up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. If thieves rack up debts in your name, you’ll have significant coverage to deal with impacted vendors and debt collection agencies. 
      • Lost wallet assistance. If you lose your wallet, Experian IdentityWorks will cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen cash and documents. 
      • Resolution support from specialists. Members get access to experts in fraud recovery, who assist with bank negotiations, removing civil judgments, and working with law enforcement if needed.

      Is Experian IdentityWorks worth it for identity theft insurance? It’s always good to have this protection, and Experian offers competitive coverage in this respect.

      Family protection

      Child identity theft is a growing problem, and elders are also vulnerable to tech scams and phishing in the digital age. You need to take steps to prevent fraudsters from stealing your children’s personal data or exploiting grandparents with sophisticated scams like AI voice cloning.

      How Experian IdentityWorks protects you:

      • Helps protect your children from fraud. The Family plan lets you track the details of your whole family, such as SSNs, passport numbers, and other personal information.
      • Family plan coverage. ID theft protection for the entire family includes two adults and up to 10 children on one simple, monthly plan.
      • Social network monitoring alerts. It's important to keep tabs on children's social media lives for any concerning activity. Whether your kids are using iPhones or Androids, you can watch for interactions with potential scammers or online predators.

      Is Experian IdentityWorks worth it for family protection? While it has some great features, this platform doesn’t include parental controls to keep your kids safe online, or protection for older family members. If you have a family to look after, you should probably seek other options. 

      What Are the Downsides of Using Experian IdentityWorks?

      Now, let’s dig into some of the main concerns that current customers have about Experian IdentityWorks.

      Here are five drawbacks to consider:

      • Expensive compared to other options. While you can get free basic credit monitoring from Experian, the Premium plan costs $24.99/month — compared to Aura at $6/month using this special discount link, which also includes AI-powered digital security and 24/7 customer support.
      • No digital security tools are offered, leaving you vulnerable to hackers. Cybercriminals can attack you in a myriad of ways. Unlike Aura, Experian doesn’t provide antivirus software, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), or a spam blocker — exposing you to many threats. 
      • Complaints of poor customer support hours and limited online help. Almost one in five reviews on TrustPilot are one-star reviews. This feedback is cause for concern, as many victims of fraud struggle to get reliable support when they need it most [*]. 
      • The free plan doesn’t offer three-bureau credit monitoring. If you don’t have a service to monitor all three bureaus, you could miss early warning signs of identity theft. In the long run, this oversight could cost you thousands of dollars.
      • Signing up takes away some of your consumer rights. When you enroll with Experian IdentityWorks, you agree to settle any disputes through a neutral arbitrator rather than in court. The specific terms limit how you handle any issues with the company and effectively reduce your rights to appeal or overturn any wrongdoing.

      Why You Should Consider Aura as an Experian IdentityWorks Alternative

      There are plenty of options that offer similar or better protection without the downsides of Experian IdentityWorks. 

      While a relatively new player, Aura has already been rated #1 by Money.com, TechRadar, USNews.com, and more.

      Here’s a breakdown of how Experian IdentityWorks and Aura compare:

      Experian IdentityWorks
      Aura
      Starts at $24.99/month for the Premium plan.
      Starts at just $6/month for a comprehensive individual plan.
      Three-bureau credit monitoring is only available on Premium and Family plans.
      Three-bureau credit monitoring is standard on all Aura plans.
      No digital security tools.
      Basic plan includes comprehensive built-in digital security for 10 devices (50 devices on the Family plan), including antivirus software, VPN, Safe Browsing and gaming tools, and AI-powered spam call protection.
      3.9 stars rating on Trustpilot (for Experian as a whole — not just IdentityWorks).
      4.7 stars rating on Trustpilot.
      7-day free trial period.
      14-day free trial and 60-day money-back guarantee.

      Aura encompasses more areas of digital security while also providing the same free credit reports and monitoring services. 

      Here are five key ways that Aura outdoes Experian IdentityWorks:

      • Rapid fraud alerts. Aura alerts you quickly to credit and identity fraud and suspicious activity. According to a 2022 mystery shopper survey, Aura's credit fraud alerts were up to 250 times faster than competitors3.
      • AI-powered digital security features. Credit monitoring and ID theft protection are different services, and IdentityWorks severely lacks in the latter. Aura includes a VPN, antivirus, AI-powered Call Assistant, and more to protect your identity from a range of cyber threats across different mediums.
      • Support whenever you need it. Aura has become known for its 24/7 U.S.-based phone support, email, and live chat options; you can rest assured that all of your questions will be answered as quickly as possible.
      • More comprehensive family protection and additional insurance coverage. Aura offers up to $5 million in identity theft insurance on its Family plan, five times more than Experian IdentityWorks. And while IdentityWorks’ Family plan covers two adults and up to 10 children, Aura’s Family plan includes five adults and an unlimited number of children. 
      • Better value for more features. Aura's pricing is more competitive than Experian IdentityWorks, even though it provides many additional features. While the Family plan comes with a premium price tag, the expansive suite of tools is unrivaled, making it worth the money.

      💡 Related: Is Identity Theft Protection Really Worth It In 2024?

      How to Cancel Experian IdentityWorks

      It can be tough to cancel an Experian membership as you may encounter pushy agents who try to convince you to stay for a discounted rate or special offer.

      But if you’re sure you want to cancel your Experian account, here are the easiest ways:

      How to cancel by updating your membership online: 

      • You can visit this page to sign in to your account.
      • Once you’re logged in, go to My Subscriptions.
      • If you have multiple subscriptions, select the one you want to cancel. You also have the option to switch from a paid monthly membership to a free membership. 
      • Once you pick the right plan, select Cancel, and then confirm.

      How to cancel by phone:

      • Call 1-866-617-1894, and then choose the option for "consumers."
      • Identify yourself by using personal data, including: Your name, SSN, home address, and date of birth.
      • Once a representative takes your call, request to cancel your membership. You may need to remain firm if the team tries to persuade you to keep your membership.

      The Bottom Line: IdentityWorks Can Leave You Vulnerable

      Experian IdentityWorks can be a good option for identity theft monitoring, as it provides some decent free features, including credit checks. However, the lack of digital security tools and customer claims of underwhelming support can make some people question whether it's the right choice for them.

      Aura provides 24/7 three-bureau credit monitoring and Dark Web monitoring with the fastest, most reliable alerts. 

      With Aura, you can protect your entire family — including grandparents and kids of all ages — with internet security tools like a VPN, ad blockers, and Safe Gaming features. Aura provides up to $5 million in identity theft insurance coverage, along with 24/7 access to a dedicated team of U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists.

      Get award-winning protection against fraud. Try Aura free for 14 days
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