Identity fraud is on the increase and is more widespread than ever. Research by Experian has revealed that the number of identity fraud victims who sought help from the company last year leapt by nearly 20% compared to the year before. To help combat the problem, Experian has today announced the launch of a new service in the UK specifically aimed at protecting consumers against the growing threat of ID fraud. ProtectMyID offers a comprehensive online service to allow consumers to keep track of where their personal information is being used to secure credit.
In 2009, Experian research found that 63% of fraud victims discovered they were victims of fraudulent activity by monitoring their credit report. ProtectMyID provides continuous monitoring with text or email alerts if credit is applied for in the user’s name and details of the activity. Advice on what to do is then posted to the user’s personal and secure online account. As part of the service, users also have access to a dedicated Experian caseworker who can offer individual advice to help resolve any suspected fraudulent activities. Other benefits of the service include free fraud insurance to cover the cost of resolution up to £75,000 (provided by ARC, underwritten by AXA) and the option for CIFAS Protective Registration where appropriate.
Experian’s 2009 research also revealed that people took longer to discover that they had become a victim of fraud, indicating that fraudsters are getting better at covering their tracks; the average time taken is now 416 days, up 17 days compared to 2008. Year-on-year, reported fraud rose most sharply in early summer, rising by 57% in May and by 74% in June – the highest number ever reported to Experian in any single month. The average financial loss per victim was £1,100 in 2009 and the most extreme loss reported to Experian was for almost £59,000.
Commenting on the launch of the new product Pete Turner, Managing Director of Experian Interactive, said:
“Identity fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK and our research shows that organised criminal fraudsters are not solely focusing on the wealthy but are now turning their attention to the wider population.
“There are increasingly higher volumes of less easily detectable crimes being committed against the more vulnerable groups, including the retired and young, low-income families. ProtectMyID is a service aimed to provide that safety net of protection so customers can rest assured that we are keeping an eye on how their personal details are being used, even when they can’t”.
Whilst credit card fraud is the most obvious aspect of identity fraud, it is important consumers consider the problems that may be in store in the future. Without resolving fraudulent activity quickly, victims of identity fraud could find themselves faced with serious problems, such as difficulty obtaining a mortgage or a job because their identities have been compromised.
The ProtectMyID product is available now, priced at £4.99 a month. Consumers can apply directly from the website www.protectmyid.co.uk
Experian Public Relations
Tel: 0203 042 4870
ProtectMyID is provided by Experian Ltd. Experian Ltd, Landmark House, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ, United Kingdom. Registered No. England 653331.
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2010 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit www.experianplc.com.