The Federal Trade Commission had 250,000+ consumer complaints of ID theft in 2010. The FTC and the US Travel Insurance Association offer prevention tips, but experts say no one is fully safe. Javelin Research found "new account fraud" cost consumers $17 billion in 2010. Travel Insured International® includes ID theft recovery assistance at no extra cost in two travel insurance plans.
East Hartford, CT (Vocus/PRWEB) April 12, 2011 - The Federal Trade Commission had 250,000+ consumer complaints of ID theft in 2010. The FTC and the US Travel Insurance Association offer prevention tips, but experts say no one is fully safe. Javelin Research found "new account fraud" cost consumers $17 billion in 2010. Travel Insured International® includes ID theft recovery assistance at no extra cost in two travel insurance plans.
The explosive growth of smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and interactive social media, all popular communication tools for travelers, has accompanied one of America's most popular growth crimes: ID Theft. According to CNNMoney, ID Theft complaints comprised the highest number at 19 percent of the 1.3 million consumer complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2010. The annual Identity Fraud Survey by Javelin Strategy and Research, conducted of 5,000 consumers at the end of 2010, found that while overall ID theft-related fraud declined compared to 2009 thanks to corporate vigilance, the cost to each victim increased sharply.
"The mean consumer out-of-pocket cost due to identity fraud increased 63 percent from $387 in 2009 to $631 per incident in 2010," said Javelin's survey summary. Javelin noted that new account fraud, "in which accounts are opened without the victim's knowledge" was the highest 2010 category at a total of $17 billion."
ID Theft Recovery Assistance
Travel Insured International®, the leading privately-owned travel insurance provider, includes ID Theft Recovery Assistance as a value-added benefit at no extra premium cost in its comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plans. Insured travelers whose personal identity information is lost, stolen or otherwise compromised during their insured trip receive assistance from Travel Insured's partners at ID Experts, the ID theft recovery specialists. Travel Insured customers, at no added charge, benefit from theft recovery services that other consumers normally pay fees to their credit card providers or to security service companies to obtain.
According to ID Experts account manager Mitch Beem, the company's anti-theft professionals serve as "recovery advocates" on behalf of Travel Insured customers whose identities have been compromised.. "When granted limited power of attorney, we act on the victim's behalf and can save them hundreds of hours," said Beem. ID Experts will contact credit card companies, banks and other creditors on behalf of the customer, as well as the three major credit bureaus to help restore their credit standing prior to the identity breach while working to eliminate unauthorized debts. Beem said ID Experts can keep an active case of ID Theft open for up to three years to provide recovery assistance needed to address additional ID theft activity stemming from the original event, but the customer can discontinue this service at any time.
ID Theft recovery services provided include:
- Help to replace lost or stolen passport, or travel documents.
- Filing loss or theft reports with local authorities.
- Helping deactivate and replace stolen credit or debit cards.
- Contacting credit bureaus to help restore pre-fraud credit ratings.
- Contacting banks and creditors to protect accounts.
- Notifying family or employer about missing data.
ID Theft Recovery Assistance is one of a suite of emergency assistance services provided to Travel Insured International® customers adding the comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector or Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plans. Both plans include Worldwide Emergency Medical Assistance and 24-hour Concierge Assistance. Additionally, the Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plan adds Political Evacuation and Business Concierge service as included benefits. Travel Insured's signature Worldwide Trip Protector comprehensive plan offers Political Evacuation as an inclusive feature in the Medical coverage upgrade priced at $25 per person, and offers Business Concierge as an inclusive feature with the Baggage protection upgrade priced at $25 per person.
Several ID theft prevention tips recommended by the FTC, the U.S. Travel Insurance Association and ID Experts are common sense but bear repeating:
- Never carry a social security card in your wallet or purse. Lock it away safely at home.
- Keep personal profile information private on social media pages. Never post any financial-
related info or Identity-related numbers. The same is true in text messages.
- Use credit cards, not debit cards for travel. Charges can be reversed. Debit cards tap bank
- Do not put a credit card number or other financial information on public computers.
- Never leave an ATM or credit card swipe machine until a transaction is completed and
machine is cleared.
- Never give credit card info over the phone to a hotel employee. Go to the front desk and
confirm the validity of the request.
- Be aware of ATM machine surroundings. Watch for anyone taking your picture with a digital
camera or mobile device.