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INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -Combining technology with a personal touch is a way Liberty Identity Theft Service can help victims of identity theft among members of credit union customers of Liberty Enterprises. That includes the 10,000 members of Heartland Credit Union in Inver Grove Heights, one of the first to sign up for the new service from Liberty. “The program is Web-based, convenient and very easy to activate, and an ideal addition to our technology product mix,” said Pam O’Connell, Heartland’s president and CEO. “We always try to offer technology-driven products that allow our members to take control of their financial lives on their timetable, not ours,” O’Connell said. “And, obviously, a service that offers our members protection at a very reasonable investment is also in keeping with our philosophy.” For $49.95 a year, members of the $70 million CU get: *A three-in-one credit report from Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. *A full year of weekly electronic credit monitoring and alerts *E-mail notifications – A year of periodic e-mail updates providing resources to enable a proactive defense against identity theft. *Crisis resolution for victims – One-on-one guidance through the complex process of restoring a stolen identity. *Ongoing education – A ready resource of information on defending against identity theft, including in-depth articles, bulletins and fraud alerts. *Identity theft insurance from AIG – Covers up to $25,000 for expenses involved in restoration of identity, with no deductible and no family exclusion, and up to four weeks lost wages at up to $500 a week. The service is Minnesota-based Liberty’s branded version of a package developed by San Francisco-based Identity Theft 911 and is now being offered to Liberty’s 5,500 credit union customers, said Kim Sorlien, vice president of product development. “There are no contracts and no sign-up fees for this Web-based product, and credit unions are discovering that it’s a convenient, affordable product to offer their members,” Sorlien said. “Identity theft is a huge and growing problem and we wanted to help our Liberty customers provide a solution,” she said. “Their members are coming to them for help, advice and answers, and often credit unions don’t have the resources to help their members beyond the impact on their accounts at the credit union.” Sorlien said the package combines electronic communications and personal attention to work with credit union members hit by the crime and help it not to happen in the first place. “Clearly technology is the key to catching wrongful activity fast,” the Liberty vice president said. “Liberty Identity Theft Services provide electronic information about subscribers’ credit bureau and credit activity, as well as articles and bulletins on new activity and how members can protect themselves against becoming a victim.” Then there’s the personal touch. “Liberty has partnered with a proven and respected company, Identity Theft 911, that designates a personal advocate who will work with the identity theft victim and guide them through every step of the resolution process,” Sorlien said. “The adviser will even call back a year later to see how things are going for the victim. It’s not just a call center that responds by sending out a kit with a list of attorneys you can call for help. “It’s much more strategic. Complete resolution is the goal.” At Heartland, some CU members “have, indeed, been victims of identity theft, and we wanted to be proactive and offer a product to our members as soon as possible,” said O’Connell. She said initial reaction has been good from her membership and “we expect more members to be interested in the product after we’ve refined our marketing and communications strategy.” -

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