|[November 26, 2012]
Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud Claims
HARTFORD, Conn. --(Business Wire)--
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 (NYSE: TRV).
The first insurance carrier to offer identity fraud insurance reports
that even in the digital era, burglary, stolen wallets and pilfered
identifications account for 73 percent of all cases, according to a
comprehensive study of 2011 Travelers claim data.
Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud Claims - 73% of identity fraud cases resulted from stolen personal item (Graphic: Travelers)
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 thetop known causes of identity fraud:
73 percent - burglary and theft of wallet/purse/personal
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."
Consumers can take preventative measures to protect themselves from
identity fraud. Travelers offers the following tips to avoid having
Carry only the essentials: Leave the unnecessary credit cards
and critical documents in a discrete, burglar-proof location in your
Beware of scams: Do not fall for scams intended to pull at your
heart strings. Do not disclose personal information, such as credit
card and bank account details, if you receive an unsolicited request.
Do not throw away -- destroy: Shred old bills and financial
statements rather than placing them in the trash.
Make security a priority: Make sure to store purses and wallets
in a safe place, never print account information on envelopes of
outgoing mail, and be careful about sharing personal information on
Know your score: Check your free credit report annually from
the national credit reporting agencies by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Travelers' Identity Fraud Expense Coverage is available as an
endorsement on a homeowners policy for $25 annually and offers
protection up to $25,000 per insured person with no deductible and
includes comprehensive Identity Fraud Resolution Services. Travelers
also offers Identity Fraud Expense Reimbursement Coverage to financial
institutions and commercial entities as an employee, customer or
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV)
is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto,
The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide
range of coverage sold primarily through independent agents and brokers.
A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than
30,000 employees and operations in the United States and selected
international markets. The company generated revenues of approximately
$25 billion in 2011. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
*Travelers insurance policies are sold by the Travelers Indemnity
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