Report shows online banking can reduce identity theft

Sunday 12 October 2003 00:43 CET | News

Online Banking and Bill Paying: New Protection from Identity Theft, a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research takes a quantifiable study of how Internet use can help protect consumers and reduce identity theft.

The report concludes that, contrary to popular assumptions, using the Internet can actually help protect consumers and businesses from two of the most common kinds of identity theft: fraudulent opening of a new accounts and unauthorized use of existing accounts. The most significant benefits come from online banking and viewing and paying bills, which can help prevent more than one million cases of identity theft and save consumers and businesses $4.8 billion annually. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft victimized more than 10 million Americans last year and cost businesses more than $47 billion. The Javelin Strategy & Research report analyzed findings from Federal Trade Commission and United States Postal Service reports, and primary consumer and industry studies by Javelin. Receiving and Paying Bills Online Helps Prevent Identity Theft By viewing and paying bills and statements online, consumers and businesses eliminate one of the most common means of identity theftstealing personal information contained in bills, bank statements, and credit cards that are delivered to a persons mailbox, or in the signed, outgoing check used to pay the paper bill. The information can be more easily obtained in the physical world than via secure sites such as a banks Web site. This significantly reduces the risk of having fraud committed with new accounts that are opened in consumers name - which costs an average victim more than 60 hours of personal time to correct and more than $1,100 in out of pocket costs. The benefits to business are even greater. The average cost associated with fraudulent accounts is more than $10,000 per case and $32.9 billion annually. Additionally, frequent account monitoring is the single greatest step consumers can take to fight identity fraud. Consumers that view and pay their bills and bank online are nearly four times more likely to monitor their transactions frequently than those who wait for paper bills and monthly statements. Despite the millions spent by business on fraud monitoring technology, more than half of the cases are identified by consumers. This earlier detection can reduce identity theft by more than 18 percent, by detecting and reporting fraud before more damage can be done. Javelins New Advice for Online Consumers to Reduce Risk of Identity Fraud 1. Sign up for bill presentment and payment, preferably through a single trusted provider such as a financial institution or portal, where payment information, passwords, settings and monitoring can be consolidated. 2. When comparing sites for viewing e-statements, look for a no-liability guarantee of payment, an easy-to-use site, and extended-hours customer service. 3. Sign up for e-mail based account alerts. 4. Request that the paper copies of all statements and bills be turned off by your provider. If you print out paper copies, store them safely. 5. View online statements and bills weekly, particularly for financial accounts. 6. Sign up for automatic deposits of any regular payments. 7. Use hard-to-guess unique passwords, change them regularly, and record them in a safe place. 8. Dont respond to e-mails that ask you to log in or update data. Only log in to secure sites after directly typing and double checking the URL. 9. When buying or selling at auction sites use P-to-P Payments, and take extra precautions with parties that lack a success rating. 10. Avoid transacting with high-risk or unknown online merchants such as those in the adult sector (where fraud is more common). 11. Retrieve paper mail promptly and never place checks in your personal outgoing mailbox. 12. Never give out your Social Security number or other private information unless you have no other option, and avoid divulging such information over

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Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech