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What You Need to Know About the Equifax Data Breach

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Friday, September 15, 2017

What you need to know about the Equifax Data Breach:

Equifax, Inc – a major credit bureau, announced on Thursday, 9/7/17, that a massive data breach was discovered in July, which may have exposed names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. The current US population is approximately 326 million, so this data breach potentially affected 44% of Americans! In addition, a smaller amount of driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and certain documents were obtained. The breach lasted from mid-May to July of 2017.

This is just the latest example of how, no matter how careful you are, there are forces beyond your control that can still lead to your personally identifiable information being exposed.

At IDShield, we know how stressful data breaches are, and we are here to help.  As a member, please know:

  • You have full access to our dedicated and experienced licensed private investigators to ask any questions and get help if you are worried that you are a victim of fraud.
  • You have proactive credit monitoring through Experian and will be alerted if there are any changes to their credit report.

If you are not a member of IDShield, there are still steps that you can take to provide an extra layer of security.

  • First, set up a fraud alert. This will reduce the chance of a fraudster opening a credit or loan account in your name. If you place the alert with one bureau, they will ensure its placed on the other bureaus as well. Fraud alerts last for 90 days, but can be renewed. You can search online for placing a fraud alert and select one of the main bureaus to set it up through. To sign up via Experian, use this link: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html. To sign up via TransUnion, use this link: https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert.
  • Second, be diligent. Don't give out your personal information if it sounds fishy. IDShield members, if you're unsure, this is a great time to call your licensed private investigator for advice!
  • Third, change your passwords for online banking and other finance accounts. This will reduce the risk of your money or assets being moved fraudulently. As you change your password, use your IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password!

And of course, if you don’t yet have IDShield, this is a great time to sign up for comprehensive identity protection and full service, white glove restoration. Visit www.idshield.com to learn more!

 

I'm here to help, so please do not hesitant to contact me!

Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield / IDShield Independent Associate, 602-367-1069

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Tags:  data breach  financial  financing  fradulent  fraud  hackers  identity protection  law  lawyer  Legal  legal advice  legal services  legalshield  lending  loans 

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New App Connects Directly to an Attorney to Resolve Traffic Tickets with Snap by LegalShield

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Monday, June 27, 2016

— LegalShield is making it easier than ever for customers to resolve traffic tickets with Snap by LegalShield, a new feature in the updated LegalShield app that will be available on July 1. Snap allows members to take a picture of a traffic ticket and, through the app, send it directly to their dedicated LegalShield law firm. Compared to similar apps, Snap is more cost effective, offers access to more legal services and is more widely available.

This app is important because it makes it simple for consumers to take immediate action and get help from a trusted resource. In addition to the cost of the ticket, traffic violations can add points to a driver’s motor vehicle record that may lead to higher insurance premiums for the next several years. For example, only five percent of people contest their speeding tickets in court, meaning more people choose to pay the ticket, court and insurance costs over paying high attorney’s fees to fight the ticket.

With Snap, users don’t have to choose between costs associated with the ticket and costs associated with representation by an attorney. Snap is included in a monthly LegalShield membership, which starts at $17.95 per month. Other apps have starting attorney costs of more than $100. Hiring an attorney directly can cost $250 or more per hour. Snap, as with all LegalShield services, is available in 49 states (with coverage in Alaska coming soon). Competitor services are available in fewer than 20 states or in “select cities and states.”

In addition, all tickets are serviced by LegalShield’s dedicated, one-of-a-kind network of law firms and experienced attorneys. LegalShield offers the convenience of DIY technology with the assurance of a high-quality, full-service law firm. In fact, to ensure member satisfaction and quality, members are surveyed after every interaction with a lawyer and rate their experience using a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The average NPS for LegalShield is 56, putting the company on par with companies like Apple and Nike.

“Every year, more than 41 million people receive speeding tickets across the country, and now the LegalShield app can serve all Americans, especially during the Fourth of July holiday—iconic for fireworks, bar-b-ques and moving violations,” says Jeff Bell, CEO of LegalShield. “Police activity increases nearly 50 percent around the peak holiday travel times, which undoubtedly results in more tickets. We want everyone to obey the law and be safe, but this app is ready when a ticket is issued.”

But Snap is for more than speeding tickets. For no additional fee, Snap includes:

  • consultation and representation for moving violations—like speeding tickets and failure to yield tickets—that do not result in a misdemeanor or felony;
  • consultation and representation for motor vehicle collisions, including defense by an attorney on any criminal charge for manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide or vehicular homicide, arising from permitted use of a licensed motor vehicle;
  • up to 2.5 hours of attorney assistance to collect property damage claims of $5,000 or less when a member experiences property damage as a result of driving, being a passenger in or being struck by any motor vehicle;
  • up to 2.5 hours of attorney time when a driver's license is denied, cancelled, suspended or revoked and the right to appeal is provided;
  • up to 2.5 hours of attorney time when legal assistance is needed to reinstate or maintain a driver's license because of job-related matters or medical reasons;
  • consultation and representation with an attorney who has a minimum of two years of experience practicing law and is in good standing with the state bar association; and
  • response from an attorney within eight business hours.

For other violations or moving violations that do result in a misdemeanor or felony, LegalShield members are afforded a preferred member discount to their attorney’s fees, which can greatly reduce the financial burden of legal proceedings[i].

Snap is just one feature of a broader array of benefits for LegalShield members. For as low as $17.95 per month, LegalShield members get access to a dedicated attorney with an average of 19 years of experience in areas such as family matters, estate planning, financial and business issues, consumer protection, tax, real estate, benefits disputes and auto/driving issues. LegalShield also includes 24/7 emergency access to a dedicated provider, meaning members are always protected.

“It took decades to build our network of attorneys—one firm at a time, one state at a time. The relationships we have with our providers and the commitment they have to helping our members is unparalleled,” says Bell. “And together, we are furthering our commitment to broadening access to legal advice by not only providing the best legal services, but the best technology to access legal help.”

To purchase a LegalShield membership, visit www.LegalShield.com/hub/KenyattaTurner or call 602-367-1069. Note there is a 15-day waiting period between the start of a LegalShield membership and eligibility for coverage on some traffic violations. - LegalShield Blog

 

For more information about LegalShield or IDShield for yourself, your family, your business, or your employees, please contact Kenyatta Turner, Independent Associate at 602-367-1069 or KenyattaTurner@LegalShieldAssociate.com.  Worry Less...Live More!

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Tags:  attorney  court  driving  law  lawyer  legal advice  legal services  legalshield  mobile apps  safety  traffic 

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Avoid These Six Debt Collection Pitfalls

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small Business News


Avoid These Six Debt Collection Pitfalls 

Your ability to collect a debt owed to your business hinges on the processes and policies you have in place. You can avoid some of the most common mistakes and improve your chance of successfully collecting a debt by understanding where problems often arise. Your LegalShield provider law firm is ready to help you understand the laws that govern collections, draft letters to debtors and assist you in taking further legal action if necessary. Call your LegalShield provider law firm if you need assistance with a collection matter or have any questions.

  1. “We didn’t have a payment policy or written contract.” Handshake deals and verbal agreements are difficult to legally enforce. It is essential to have a signed contract for any product or service for which payment will be made at a later date. Your contract or agreement should include a uniform payment policy. Your policy should include exact due dates or a timeline for payment, the name of the individual or business responsible, accepted forms of payment and any potential fees or interest for delinquent payment.

  2. “Our accounting records are a disaster.” Accurate and detailed records will help you quickly identify and manage delinquent accounts. Your customers and clients should know exactly where their account stands. Provide itemized invoices that include a specific due date for payment. If an account is delinquent, include the total amount owed, the number of days past due, the original due date and any late fees or interest owed.

  3. "We waited because we didn't want to upset the customer." If a customer's account becomes past due, consider placing a hold on the account and contact the customer. The longer a customer's account is delinquent and the more debt they accrue the more difficult collection becomes. You may have to make the determination to stop providing additional services or products until payment is made. Always remain professional and courteous.

  4. “We don’t have any documentation but I remember talking to the customer.” Good accounting practices will insure you retain copies of bills and invoices. You must also document your collection efforts. Your records should include letters and emails, as well as the dates and times of any phone calls or meetings. This information will be extremely important if legal action becomes necessary.

  5. “I was so mad I couldn’t stay calm.” Remain professional and friendly during each interaction with delinquent customers. It is illegal to threaten, harass or intimidate customers who are unable to make payment. Never threaten an action you are not willing or legally allowed to make. Making the issue personal or becoming aggressive will hurt your chances of successfully collecting the debt and could land you in legal trouble.

  6. “I didn’t really think the attorney could help.” Utilize your LegalShield small business membership. Call your provider law firm for assistance with collection matters. Your attorney can help you understand the law, draft a collection letter on your behalf, review your contracts and answer other legal questions you may have. If a collection letter does not resolve the matter, your provider law firm will advise you on additional legal remedies available to your business.  

 

For more information about LegalShield or IDShield for yourself, your family, your business, or your employees, please contact Kenyatta Turner, Independent Associate at 602-367-1069 or KenyattaTurner@LegalShieldAssociate.com.  Worry Less...Live More!

 

Tags:  accounting  Bookkeeping  contracts  CPA  debt cancellation  debt collection  family-owned business  finance  financing  legal advice  legal services  small biz  small business  Taxes 

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