Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SAN RAMON, Calif. - Nov 27, 2017 - In 2016, 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft. That’s up from 13.1 million the year before. In 2017, those numbers will likely increase due to the recent major data breaches at major companies. Despite anti-fraud measures, including chips on credit and debit cards, fraudulent activity has flourished. The Financial Education Benefits Center fights back by offering identity theft protection at each level of their suite of financial and health wellness services.
According to a Javelin survey funded by LifeLock, 2016 was marked by four major identity theft trends. These trends show how and where fraudsters operate so that consumers and protection services can more efficiently work to address them.
- Fraudulent activity increased steeply. In 2016, 6.14 percent of U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft, up 2 million consumers from 2015.
- Card-not-present fraud increased 40 percent. This type of fraud is done online or over the phone where chips are not read. Online shoppers are especially prone to this type of fraud.
- Account takeover fraud increased 61 percent from 2015. In this type of fraud, fraudsters use someone else’s account information to make purchases or take funds from a bank account, for example.
- New-account fraud continues at the same levels. This type of fraud involves someone posing as someone else and creating new financial accounts, like credit cards or loans, under the victim’s identity. Victims of this type of fraud typically discover the fraudulent activity on their credit report or from debt collectors.
“Identity theft is one of those things that you assume won’t ever happen to you,” said Jennifer Martinez, Manager at FEBC. “But the data breaches and other fraud activity have shown it doesn’t make sense to have that attitude anymore. Identity theft is unpredictable, but there are ways to be proactive and minimize consequences if it happens to you.”
Identity theft is one of those things that you assume won’t ever happen to you.
It may seem like a hopeless task to prevent identity theft, but there are steps consumers can take to minimize risk:
- Check accounts often, both bank and credit. If there are any mysterious charges, report them immediately.
- Check credit reports regularly. Look for drops in credit scores, mysterious account inquiries, and unfamiliar accounts.
- Practice good password habits. Use strong passwords, with no duplicates, and update them regularly. If it’s hard to remember them, don’t write them down. Instead, look into a password manager.
- Sign up for account alerts. This is the quickest way to know if an account has been used for purchases without the user’s authorization.
- Tighten security on social media. Birthdates, location, and other seemingly innocent information can be used for identity theft. Look at photos closely before uploading; they may have information in the background that shouldn’t be shared online.
Though Javelin’s report shows an increase in money lost due to fraudulent activity — $16 billion, an increase of $700 million — losses are not at record levels. In 2012, fraudulent losses peaked at $21.8 billion. However, consumers should still be wary and make a habit of monitoring their accounts. Quick detection is essential. Consumers who notice fraudulent activity sooner may be less liable and may also increase the chances of the fraudster being caught.
“Identity theft can be scary, but with the right resources it isn’t as scary,” said Martinez. “In each level of our FEBC packages, we offer identity theft protection through LifeLock. At the most basic level, LifeLock will monitor members’ credit, alert for social security and credit usage, and reimburse stolen funds up to at least $25,000.”
About the Financial Education Benefits Center
The Financial Education Benefits Center is located in San Ramon, California. The Company has already helped thousands of people save money and obtain the necessary education required to live a financially healthy life.
The Financial Education Benefits Center has partnered with several name brand third-party companies to expand the financial and educational products and services available to its members and to provide a variety of wellness services as well.
To learn more about the Financial Education Benefits Center, please contact:
Financial Education Benefits Center Source :
2010 Crow Canyon Place Ste. 100
San Ramon, CA 94583
Financial Education Benefits Center