Protect your ID in the new year
HERE’S ONE SMART item to add to your list
of New Year’s resolutions: Improve your protection against identity theft.
Identity theft continues to be one of the
fastest-growing crimes in the country. It occurs
when criminals get credit-card and other confidential information through various
schemes, then use it to make illegal purchases.
Costco offers comprehensive identity-theft protection through IDENTITY
GUARD®. The program offers two options:
The basic plan, which features daily credit
monitoring from the three top credit bureaus,
Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®, so
that suspicious activity can be spotted quickly;
an ID theft recovery unit, which can help you
restore your identity; a monthly credit report
and score; and a reimbursement program for
certain expenses for victims.
The IDENTITY GUARD Total Protection
plan, which includes the benefits of the basic
plan plus access to public records and more.
“Total Protection is a package that provides
layers of protection to help you prevent, detect
and resolve potential identity theft, giving you
the peace of mind that your personal information stays personal,” says Ed Murphy, a Costco
manager who oversees the program.
The plan’s Public Record Profile is a comprehensive summary of public information
available about you from more than 400 data
sources, including utilities, insurance companies and government databases. It includes
information connected to your identity such
as your name, address, personal property,
licenses and registrations, court records, bankruptcy filings and more.
“Your Public Record Profile is your opportunity to carefully review the accuracy of your
public records,” says Ed. “If there are records
that clearly do not belong to you, it may be a
sign of identity theft.”
Another feature of Total Protection is the
Internet surveillance feature. This ensures your
important financial information is not being
compromised online by identity thieves.
For complete details, visit Costco.com,
and search “ID Protect 7.”—Tim Talevich
Choices in ID protection
IDENTITY GUARD® Total Protection plan
Online 3-in- 1 credit report, 3-in- 1 credit report updates (quarterly),
3 credit bureau scores, 3 credit bureau monitoring, credit bureau activity
alerts, Internet surveillance, public-record monitoring, public record
report, credit-application monitoring, online financial tools
IDENTITY GUARD Basic Plan
Online 3-in- 1 credit report (monthly) , 3 credit bureau scores
(monthly), 3 credit bureau monitoring, credit bureau activity alerts,
online financial tools
* $9.99 for Executive Members; $11.49 for Gold Star and Business members
** $7.49 for Executive Members; $9.49 for Gold Star and Business members
Make the most of your business accounts
RUNNING A SMALL business means being
smart about your money. This is an axiom that
is true no matter what shape the economy is in,
but one that becomes especially important during troubled economic periods.
A simple but extremely effective approach
is to make sure that your money is doing
more than simply sitting in a no- or low-interest checking account.
The Capital One® Business Money
Market Account for Costco members allows
your business funds to work for you, paying
you a higher-than-average rate of return while
still providing you access to your money
through check-writing privileges.
“The rate of return, which is exclusive to
Costco members, is one of the best in the
nation,” says Michael Kiernan of Capital One.
“There are no monthly service or maintenance fees, and the account includes free
check-writing privileges. You could open the
account with as little as $1,000.”
The account is also FDIC insured to at
least $250,000 per depositor, per institution,
in accordance with the new increased protec-
tion from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor
through December 31, 2009.
Since access to business funds is key,
developing a convenient and easy way to
transfer and manage funds was key, says Erin
Hoag, of Costco services.
“In the new year, it’s always a great idea to
review all facets of your business,” says Erin.
“Are you receiving the best rates on your business accounts? The Capital One Business
Money Market Account is not only convenient, but is probably one of the easiest and
most straightforward ways to make sure all of
your money is working for you.”
Costco Executive Members receive a $60
bonus interest credit and Gold Star and
Business members get a $20 bonus interest
credit on their first Capital One Direct
Banking account of any kind opened through
the Costco program with at least $5,000
deposited in the first 30 days. For more
information, call 1-866-630-7953 or visit
Costco.com and enter “money market
account” in the search box.