Should You Use Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection?
With over 5 million cases of identity theft and fraud in the U.S. last year alone, more and more Americans are looking for identity theft protection services to keep them safe [*].
If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, one option that’s available to you is to add the company’s Enhanced Identity Theft Protection (EITP) service to your account.
With identity thieves constantly finding new ways to scam you, is Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection enough to keep you safe?
In this guide, we’ll cover what features are included with Wells Fargo’s identity theft protection and how they compare to other (more affordable) services. We’ll also look at four of the best identity theft protection companies of 2023 to consider as alternatives.
What’s Included With Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection (EITP)?
Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection is an add-on service available to the bank’s customers that includes additional credit monitoring, limited identity theft insurance, and access to a support team.
While there’s not a lot of publicly available information about EITP, the service’s terms and conditions explain that with Wells Fargo EITP, you get:
- Three-bureau credit monitoring. EITP connects with the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to alert you of changes in your score or personal information (such as your billing address) as well as new hard inquiries, accounts, and credit applications made in your name.
- Up to $10,000 in identity theft insurance. Wells Fargo includes insurance coverage to help you cover the costs associated with identity theft — such as legal fees.
- Toll-free number for assistance in understanding your credit reports. While an active member, you get access to a support team to help you deal with fraud or look into suspicious activity on your account.
Wells Fargo EITP costs $15.99/month (at the time of this writing). While this rate is comparable to many identity theft protection companies, most services provide more features than Wells Fargo EITP.
It’s important to note that all banks offer some level of fraud protection — and Wells Fargo is no different.
At no extra cost, all Wells Fargo bank customers are also protected by the company’s standard fraud alerts, data encryption, and zero liability policy.
If you’re the victim of identity theft and your Wells Fargo account is compromised, you also get access to the company’s fraud department (call 1-800-869-3557) as well as a free identity theft repair kit (which contains a basic checklist to follow).
Wells Fargo vs. Other Identity Theft Protection Services
Wells Fargo might seem like a good option — especially if you’re already a customer. But unfortunately, it comes up short against modern identity theft protection services.
Most comprehensive identity theft protection services include additional features, such as:
- Online security tools such as a VPN, password manager, and antivirus to keep your personal information safe from criminals and hackers.
- Comprehensive personal information monitoring to track your Social Security number (SSN), contact information, and other sensitive info, and detect signs of identity theft.
- Three-bureau credit and bank account monitoring to detect unauthorized transactions across your credit reports, investment accounts, savings, and credit and debit cards.
- Data breach notifications and password protection to keep your online banking, email, and other sensitive accounts safe from hackers.
- At least $1 million in identity theft insurance to reimburse you for stolen funds, legal fees, and more.
- White Glove identity restorations services to help you through the process of resolving fraud.
For example, here’s how Wells Fargo compares to Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution:
The bottom line: Wells Fargo charges a premium price for fewer features and less protection than most identity theft protection services. If you want to stay safe, you should look for an alternative.
4 Alternatives to Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection
- Identity Guard
Identity theft protection has come a long way in recent years. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive protection plan than what Wells Fargo offers, here are four alternatives to consider:
1. Aura: Award-winning protection (powered by AI)
Aura is an award-winning identity theft protection and digital security solution for families and individuals. While Aura is a relatively new company, it’s already been rated the best identity theft protection service by Money.com, Security.org, and others.
What sets Aura apart from many competitors is its powerful features (many of which are powered by Artificial Intelligence) and ease of use. All of Aura’s features are readily available from its intuitive web dashboard or mobile apps (Android and iOS).
Note: Every Aura plan comes with a free and fully-featured 14-day trial. This means you can try everything included with Aura — including Dark Web monitoring, automatic data broker removal, and credit score and protection features — with no obligation.
Here’s what you get with Aura:
#1-rated identity monitoring and alerts
Once you fill in your watchlist with data such as your SSN, name, address, driver’s license, etc., Aura starts monitoring your information across billions of data points online and in public records and other databases.
If anything is found, you’ll receive a fraud alert in near real-time with clear instructions on what to do and who to contact.
If you need help, Aura’s White Glove Fraud Resolution team is available 24/7 to assist you and can even facilitate three-way calls between you and your financial institution, lenders, or any other impacted company.
Proactive protection against hackers and online scammers
While many identity theft protection services offer monitoring and alerts, few are able to help prevent scammers from gaining access to your sensitive information or accounts.
Aura proactively protects you against hackers, cybercriminals, and online scammers with a full suite of digital security tools.
- A virtual private network (VPN) to protect your data from hackers or anyone trying to spy on your network — whether you’re at home or elsewhere.
- A secure password manager to safely store all of your login information. Aura can also warn you if your accounts have been compromised or your passwords were leaked in a recent data breach.
- Antivirus software that protects all of your devices (Mac, Windows, and Android) from malware and other viruses.
- Safe Browsing tools that warn you if you’re entering a fake website.
- Email aliases to protect your inbox from scammers when you sign up for new accounts online.
- Anti-track tools to keep your online activity private and reduce the amount of pop-ups and ads you see.
- Automatic data broker removal to reduce the amount of spam calls, text messages, and mail you receive.
Financial account and 3-bureau credit monitoring with up to 250x faster fraud alerts
Aura keeps tabs on your financial accounts and credit file and alerts you of changes, suspicious activity, or strange transactions. Aura has direct connections with the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — meaning it can spot signs of fraud in near real-time.
A 2022 mystery shopper study conducted by ath Power Consulting showed that:
Aura found new accounts more consistently and also delivered fraud alerts up to 250x faster than other services.
Aura also includes other ways to keep your credit and finances safe, including transaction alerts (such as over-limit purchases or withdrawals), one-click Experian credit lock, monthly and annual credit scores, and a credit score tracker.
$1 million in identity theft insurance and 24/7 White Glove support
If the worst should happen, every adult member on an Aura plan is covered for up to $1 million in eligible losses due to identity theft. This means that on a family plan, you could be covered for up to $5 million total.
Aura’s identity theft insurance covers eligible fees and expenses which may include reimbursement for legal fees, lost wages, notary fees, private investigators, replacement of identification documents, child and elderly care, and more.
You’ll also have access to a dedicated team of Fraud Resolution Specialists
Being the victim of identity theft can feel violating and unsettling. For many people, having the support and knowledge of a dedicated expert to help you through the process of recovering from identity theft is one of the best reasons to invest in an identity theft protection service.
However, Wells Fargo identity theft protection only offers assistance with understanding your credit report. You’ll be on your own when it comes to actually resolving fraud.
How much does Aura cost? Aura plans and pricing
While many other identity theft protection services limit the features you get with lower-priced plans, all Aura plans come with the same features.
The only difference is the number of people protected under your plan: Individual, Couple, or Family.
- Individual Plan: $12 per month (billed annually)
- Couple Plan (2 members): $22 per month (billed annually)
- Family Plan (5 adults and unlimited children): $37 per month (billed annually)
🥇 Special offer: Save 50% on Aura when you sign up today! All annual memberships come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
What do real customers say about using Aura?
Aura currently has a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot [*] (a third-party review site).
Here’s what real customers had to say about Aura’s service and features:
- Customer service went above and beyond: “Service is over and beyond what I expected. After I reached out, my Aura rep called each creditor and checked my credit reports and offered great follow-up advice. If you want peace of mind, you need Aura.”
- Held my hand through the entire identity recovery process: “When my identity was stolen I felt violated, scared, and unprotected. I called Aura and was put in touch with a member of their White Glove team. They explained what we needed to do together. They didn’t say here’s a number and this is what you do. Anyone who goes through this needs the kind of protection and kindness that Aura provides.”
- Fast fraud alerts that saved me money: “Aura caught several fraud attempts early on and were able to mitigate the damage almost immediately. I will not be without this service. It is a very wise investment!”
2. Identity Guard: Budget-friendly plans from an industry veteran
Identity Guard is an award-winning identity theft protection service that has helped shield over 38 million people against fraud and identity theft. Identity Guard was first launched over 25 years ago and recently joined forces with Aura to provide modern identity theft protection for more Americans.
Here’s how Identity Guard keeps you safe:
- Safe browsing features including ad blocker, malicious site blocking, and anti-tracker
- Password manager to store all of your account passwords in a secure place
- Dark Web and Social Security number (SSN) monitoring
- Three-bureau credit monitoring
- Bank account monitoring (including 401k and investment accounts, and debit and credit cards)
- $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Access to a team of White Glove Fraud Resolution specialists
Pricing (April 2023):
- Value Plan: $8.99 per month (individual) and $14.99 (family)
- Total Plan: $19.99 per month (individual) and $29.99 (family)
- Ultra Plan: $29.99 per month (individual) and $39.99 (family)
Key takeaways: Identity Guard is a popular identity theft protection service provider for millions of Americans, although it doesn’t offer as many proactive protection features as Aura.
3. LifeLock: Popular option with a few flaws
LifeLock is one of the most well-known names in identity theft protection. However, the company has come under scrutiny in recent years over issues with renewal pricing, a $100 million class action settlement with the FTC over failing to secure user data [*], and the inclusion of crypto mining software in its Norton antivirus software [*].
Even worse, the company recently disclosed that sensitive information from thousands of LifeLock customers — including passwords — was compromised in a December, 2022 data breach [*].
If you're looking for a secure LifeLock alternative, consider trying Aura free for 14 days.
Here’s how LifeLock keeps you safe:
- Device security and VPN (when bundled with Norton 360 at an additional cost)
- Identity and SSN alerts
- Credit report monitoring
- Bank account and home title monitoring
- Social media monitoring
- Identity theft insurance (amounts and coverage vary by plan)
- 24/7 live member support
Pricing (April 2023):
LifeLock alone offers identity protection and credit monitoring. When bundled with Norton 360, you get additional device and online security features. LifeLock is known for increasing the price after the first year, so be sure to read the fine print.
Here are the prices for LifeLock with Norton 360 for individuals:
- Select (with Norton 360): $9.99/month (renews at $14.99/month)
- Advantage (with Norton 360): $19.99/month (renews at $24.99/month)
- Ultimate Plus (with Norton 360) $29.99/month (renews at $34.99/month)
Norton 360 with LifeLock renewal pricing (November 2022). Source: LifeLock
Key takeaways: LifeLock only offers comprehensive ID theft protection if you add on Norton 360 and choose their most expensive plan — otherwise, you won’t be fully protected. Additionally, their sky-high renewal rates and complicated pricing plans make it difficult to know what you’ll be paying in the long-term.
⛳️ Related: LifeLock vs. Experian vs. Aura: A Detailed Comparison →
4. IdentityForce: Strong credit monitoring for a premium price
IdentityForce is a popular option for credit monitoring (due to the fact that it is owned by TransUnion — one of the three major credit bureaus) although their pricing plans are more expensive than other similar providers.
Here’s how IdentityForce’s keeps you safe:
- PC protection tools
- Dark Web and identity theft monitoring
- Bank account activity monitoring
- Three-bureau credit monitoring
- $1 million in identity theft insurance to reimburse stolen funds as well as some legal fees and lost wages
- 24/7 fraud remediation
IdentityForce offers two protection plans — UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. The UltraSecure plan only includes identity theft protection, and the second plan adds credit protection. Both options are pricier than other comparable services.
- UltraSecure (individual): $17.99/month or $179.50 billed annually
- UltraSecure+Credit (individual): $23.95/month or $239.50 billed annually
Family plans cover two adults and unlimited children, including ChildWatch ID protection for children.
- UltraSecure (family): $24.90/month or $249/year
- UltraSecure+Credit (family): $35.90/month or $359/year
Key takeaways: IdentityForce offers good credit monitoring services; however, they lack key proactive protection features.
⛳️ Related: Beware of These 7 Wells Fargo Scam Texts →
What To Do If You See Signs of Fraud in Your Wells Fargo Account
The sad truth is that no identity theft protection solution can promise to completely prevent identity theft. Scammers are always getting better. And even if you do everything right, there’s still the chance that your data gets leaked in a data breach or you accidentally click on a phishing link in an email or text.
If you see signs of identity theft anywhere, but especially in your Wells Fargo bank account, here’s what to do:
- Contact the Wells Fargo fraud and identity theft helpline at 1-800-869-3557. Report any unauthorized accounts or transactions over the phone call. Wells Fargo will most likely close your accounts and cards and issue you new ones.
- Change your online banking password and enable 2FA. If scammers have access to your online accounts, you’ll want to do a password reset and then enable 2FA to keep your accounts secure.
- Place a credit freeze with all three credit bureaus. This prevents anyone from opening new accounts or taking out loans in your name. Contact each bureau separately and request a freeze. You can also instantly lock your Experian credit file from Aura.
- Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can file an online complaint at identitytheft.gov. An official FTC report can help when disputing fraudulent accounts or trying to reverse charges. You can also file a police report with your local law enforcement.
- Obtain a free copy of your credit report and look for more signs of fraud. Everyone can get a free copy of their credit reports from all three bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Check for any incorrect information, strange accounts, or hard inquiries you don’t recognize. You can use this credit dispute letter to file an official complaint.
- Contact any impacted company, lender, or creditor. Report the fraud to any company where your information was fraudulently used. You’ll most likely be asked to provide your FTC or police report as proof..
- Continue to monitor your credit. Identity theft is almost never an isolated incident. Use a credit monitoring app or service to keep track of your accounts and warn you of any future fraud.
⛳️ Related: Wells Fargo Customer? Beware Of These 6 Scams →
Secure Your Identity With More Comprehensive ID Theft Protection
Identity theft protection and credit monitoring are essential to keeping your digital life secure and your finances safe from scammers. But when compared to other options, Wells Fargo’s identity theft protection plan doesn’t provide the same peace of mind.
You and your family will be better protected with one of the alternatives described above. They are generally more affordable — and offer both proactive protection and reactive support to help you if your identity is stolen.