Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud Claims

wallet

Despite increased adoption of online shopping, mobile payment and banking apps, offline methods are the top known causes of identity fraud, according to a new study from Travelers. Burglary, stolen wallets and pilfered identifications account for 73 percent of all cases, according to a comprehensive study of 2011 Travelers claim data.

Stolen or misplaced items, such as wallets and pocketbooks, accounted for the most common known causes for identity fraud. In the number two spot was a stolen or compromised license, Social Security card or other form of personal identification, according to the company’s 2011 claim data. Burglaries rated third, followed by cyber breaches (including Internet scams) and old-fashioned forgeries.

Since identity thieves acquire valuable personal information in less obvious ways—from sorting through trash for bank statements to stealing pre-approved credit card applications in the mail—only 10 percent of survey respondents could identify whom the perpetrator was who committed identity fraud against them.

“When everyday essentials, like wallets or drivers licenses, are stolen or go missing, identity fraud often follows,” said Joe Reynolds, identity fraud product manager at Travelers. “Credit cards, drivers licenses and other sources of personal information enable criminals to commit a fraud or crime, all in your name.”

Travelers found the following as the top known causes of identity fraud:

  • 73 percent – burglary and theft of wallet/purse/personal identification/computer;
  • 15 percent – online or data breach;
  • 10 percent – forgery;
  • 2 percent – change of address/postal fraud

“People are not always aware that someone is illegally using their identity until suspicious activity appears on their monthly financial statement,” said Reynolds. “It is critical that consumers closely review these monthly documents, and remember to immediately call the bank if they suspect fraudulent activity.”

Are you covered?  Identity Fraud Expense Coverage is included on some Homeowners policies and available as an endorsement on others for a low cost. Some companies even offer Identity Fraud Resolution Services.  Call ACBI today to discuss your risk and the best way to protect yourself from this potentially devastating event.

White House expected to seek billions in Sandy disaster aid

 

(Reuters) — The White House is expected in the coming days to send Congress a multibillion-dollar request to fund recovery from Superstorm Sandy, which caused an estimated $71 billion in damages in New York and New Jersey.

Congressional aides said there was no clear indication of the request’s size, but some said it would likely be at least $11 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund had access to about $7.8 billion as Sandy slammed the U.S. East Coast on Oct. 29, causing widespread destruction in coastal New York and New Jersey.

Lawmakers and analysts also said Congress will need to shore up the heavily indebted National Flood Insurance Program in the face of $12 billion in payouts resulting from Sandy, ranked as the second-worst disaster in U.S. history.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., asked about the additional Sandy funding request, said: “Well, we can’t do anything with the disaster aid package until we get something from the White House, and I’m told that will be here as early as tomorrow or the next day.”

A White House official declined to provide any details about the administration’s plans. “We are working closely with our partners in the states and in Congress, but it’s premature to speculate on specific actions as we work to ensure the governors have the necessary support,” the official said.

Lawmakers from both parties have voiced support for providing additional disaster relief in Sandy’s wake, but a massive funding request from President Barack Obama could be disruptive to already tense negotiations over year-end tax hikes and automatic spending cuts.

If you have experienced a flood loss with Hurricane Sandy, ACBI can help you understand the complexities involved in making a claim either with NFIP or FEMA.  Call us today