America Online Introduces Identity Theft Alerts

Tuesday 16 March 2004 11:22 CET | News

America Online, has announced a new initiative to help protect members against the growing problem of identity theft and fraud.

As part of the new AOL Bill Pay service, members can set up AOL Alerts & Reminders to keep track of activity on registered credit cards and bank accounts and alert them to large transactions or unauthorized activity on those accounts. AOL Bill Pay is a new service that helps AOL members save time and money with a streamlined way to pay bills online as well as manage their personal finances. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the number of cases of identity theft and fraud are skyrocketing in the US. The Federal Trade Commission received more than 500,000 complaints of consumer fraud and identity theft last year, a 25% jump from 2002. According to the September FTC Identity Theft Survey, 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including 9.9 million people in the last year alone. According to the survey, last years identity theft losses to businesses and financial institutions totaled nearly $48 billion and consumer victims reported $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. To help members address the growing problems of identity theft and credit card fraud, AOL Bill Pay users can set custom notification settings for each bank and credit card account registered with AOL Bill Pay, for example, an alert notification whenever a credit card transaction of more than $350 or a reduction in bank account balance to less than $1,000 takes place. If the designated activity occurs, members receive a notification via email on their computer or on their wireless device. Alerts & Reminders can also be customized for cell phone accounts so members can be notified if they are about to exceed their cell phone minutes. Industry experts say that early detection is key to minimizing the damaging effects of identity theft. AOL Alerts through AOL Bill Pay may alert members to possible fraud even before their banks notify them or before their paper statements arrive in the mail. Members can customize alerts and reminders to fit their lifestyle and turn them on and off at anytime or set specific delivery options. For example, vacation mode enables members to turn alerts off just for a specified period of time according to when their vacations begin and end while Quiet Hours let members set a certain time period every day when they dont want to receive alerts. Alerts can be customized for any account registered under AOL Bill Pay: - Credit Cards: Members can set alerts to be notified when their card reaches a certain level or if a large transaction is posted to their account. The transaction amount can be for any size to accommodate their personal preference. For instance, if they do not make large purchases with their credit cards, they can set an alert to be notified when a transaction of $100 or more is posted to their account. If they use their card for large purchases they can set an alert that more appropriately meets their needs. - Bank Accounts: Alerts can be set to let members know when their savings or checking accounts drop to a certain level or when a large withdrawal is posted to either account. Separate alerts can be set up for each account so they can be customized depending on account activity. - Cell Phones: Members can also set alerts for their cell phones so they will be alerted if they are about to reach their monthly allotment.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce