Move Bill Paying Online to Protect Against Identity Theft

Friday 21 November 2003 23:26 CET | News

Identity theft victimized more than 10 million Americans last year, costing businesses more than $47 billion.

Consumers who want to help protect themselves from identity theft have what many would call an unexpected ally?their computers. Contrary to popular assumptions, using the Internet can actually help protect consumers from two kinds of identity theft: fraudulent opening of a new accounts and unauthorized use of existing accounts. Those stunning conclusions came from a ground-breaking research report issued today from Javelin Strategy & Research. After analyzing findings from the Federal Trade Commission and United States Postal Service reports, and primary consumer and industry studies by Javelin Research, concluded that moving financial transactions online can help consumers stop more than one million identity theft cases and reduce fraud by more than $4.8 billion annually. The Javelin report, discovered: - How the Internet Helps Prevent Identity Theft? One of the most common means of identity theft comes from stealing personal information contained in statements that are delivered to a person?s 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. By receiving and paying bills online, consumers can significantly reduce the risk of having fraud committed with new accounts that are opened in their 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 Importance of Early Detection? 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. This earlier detection can reduce identity theft by more than 18 percent, by detecting and reporting fraud before more damage can be done.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce