Five Ways To Fight Back Against Identity Fraud
North American Precis Syndicate
Identity fraud is up but you don't have to let it get you—or your finances—down. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—If you’ve been a victim of identity fraud lately,
you’re not alone. Nearly 17 million other Americans were, too,
according to the 2018 annual Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin
Strategy & Research, a research-based advisory firm that helps its
clients to make better-informed business decisions in a digital financial
world. In 2017, fraudsters stole $16.8 billion in the U.S. alone, the Javelin
Identity fraud is defined as the unauthorized use of another
person’s personal information to achieve illicit financial gain. It can
range from simply using a stolen payment card account, to making a fraudulent
purchase, to taking control of existing accounts or opening new accounts.
The study identified four significant trends:
• Record high incidence—In 2017, 6.64 percent of consumers
became victims of identity fraud.
• Total account takeover losses reached $5.1 billion. Account takeover
continues to be one of the most challenging fraud types for consumers, with
victims paying an average of $290 in out-of-pocket costs and spending 16
hours on average to resolve.
• Online shopping presents the greatest fraud opportunity.
Card-not-present fraud is now 81 percent more likely than point-of-sale
• Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated. One and a half million
victims of existing account fraud had an intermediary account opened in their
Five Safety Tips To Protect Your Identity
Fortunately, you can protect yourself. Here are some tips on how:
1. Turn on two—factor
authentication wherever possible—Enabling two-factor authentication,
where a separate action must be taken beyond providing a user name and password
to access an account, can make it significantly more difficult for fraudsters
to take over your accounts. Also, use strong passwords or a password manager
to secure accounts.
2. Secure your devices—Criminals
have shifted their focus to digital devices for the access they can provide
to accounts and the information they store or transmit. Institute a screen
lock, encrypt data stored on the devices, avoid public Wi-Fi, use a VPN, and
3. Place a security freeze—If
you’re not planning on opening new accounts in the near future, a
freeze on your credit report can prevent anyone else from opening one in your
name—especially important if a data breach has exposed sensitive,
personally identifiable information. Credit freezes must be placed with all
three credit bureaus and prevent everyone except existing creditors and
certain government agencies from accessing your credit report. Should you
need to open an account requiring a credit check, the freeze can be lifted
through the credit bureaus.
4. Sign up for account
alerts—Many financial service providers, including depository
institutions, credit card issuers and brokerages, as well as e-mail and
social media providers, offer the option to get notifications of suspicious
activity. Some even let you specify the scenarios under which you want to be
notified, to reduce false alarms.
5. Protect yourself from
unauthorized online transactions—Embedded chips make fraud at
physical stores more challenging, so fraudsters target online merchants. Some
financial institutions offer alerts for online transactions, the ability to
institute limits on online transactions, or even advanced controls through
3-D Secure (for example, Verified by Visa, SecureCode from Mastercard, and
others). These can help quickly detect and even prevent online fraud from
For other ways to protect yourself, visit www.identityguard.com/news-insights.
To report incidents of suspected fraud or identity theft, visit the FTC at www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/report-identity-theft.
2017, nearly 17 million Americans were victims of identity theft.
That’s an all-time high, but you can fight back. www.identityguard.com/news-insights
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)