For Cops, By Cops: Blue ID Shield
As police officers, we wear vests and carry weapons to protect ourselves, so why stop there?
Business Name: Blue ID Shield
Officer who works here: Jason Borne, Austin Police Department
What is/are your signature product(s)?
Blue ID Shield offers complete identity theft protection. Identity theft is the number one crime in America and had more than 11 million victims last year alone. It seems that nearly everyone has been victimized or knows someone that has been victimized by identity theft, and we want to help people get protected
Where did the idea come from?
Well, I have been a victim of identity theft myself. Ever since that Matt Damon guy started making those movies, I have been harassed for the last 11 years. But seriously, as a police officer I've seen multiple cases of identity theft. I've taken the reports from the victims and arrested people that had a wallet full of social security cards and licenses that didn't belong to them. Things like that made the threat real.
How does it benefit officers?
As police officers, we wear vests and carry weapons to protect ourselves, right? We also carry guns off duty to protect ourselves and our families from threats. These things are great and necessary, but why do we stop there? SIMON benefits police officers by helping them extend another form of protection over their loved ones.
How does your identity theft protection system work?
The system is called SIMON, which comes from Secure Identification Monitor. When customers enroll, SIMON begins looking back at every day for the last three years and scans billions of data points to search for any anomalies or flags in their financial past. SIMON will also keep an eye out for red flags in the future.
Has it nabbed anybody?
Since we have started, we have had multiple customers find out that they have been victims of fraud for years and didn't know it. One customer even had "protection" from a large, nationally-known legal services company that provided add-on ID theft protection. He signed up for SIMON and found out that someone has opened multiple credit lines under his 17-year-old daughter's social security number and had been using them for years!
Why was your system able to catch that when others didn’t?
It provides more than just "credit monitoring," the typical service that alone only monitors credit lines. There are so many other ways thieves can steal identities, which are explained in this section of our website.
How did your experience as an officer help with the development of the product?
The product already existed, but we made it more affordable. If you look at the giants in the industry, you will notice that the price they advertise is for the enroller only. The price doubles to add a spouse, and then even more per child. I thought this practice was ridiculous. Our product is $9.99 per household. If there is anything I got from being a police officer, it’s that cops like discounts.
How did you test it out?
When the company launched, the first customers were the first guinea pigs. The product worked and worked wonderfully. I'm not happy to see customers getting fraud alerts back on their accounts, but I am happy to see the product working and alerting them to the fraud so they can take the appropriate action.
What does the future hold for Blue ID shield?
We are excited about the future and what it will bring. The product is already top notch, but we will always be looking for ways to improve if we can. We will also be looking to expand into Canada in the future.