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Experian launches ProtectMyID

03 September 2010  |  5517 views  |  0 Source: Experian

Experian has announced the launch of a new service specifically aimed at protecting consumers against the growing threat of ID fraud: ProtectMyID.

ProtectMyID offers a comprehensive online service to allow consumers to keep track of where their personal information is being used to secure credit. The launch of the service follows research by Experian that shows identity fraud is on the increase and is more widespread than ever. Experian 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.

ProtectMyID provides credit report monitoring with text or email alerts if any credit is applied for in the user's name. Details of the activity and 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 the suspected ID theft or other fraudulent activity. Other benefits of the service include free fraud insurance to cover the cost of resolution up to 75,000 pounds Sterling (provided by ARC, underwritten by AXA) and the option for CIFAS Protective Registration.

The Experian research revealed that in 2009, people were taking longer to discover that they have 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 pounds in 2009 and the most extreme loss reported to Experian was for almost 59,000 pounds.

Commenting on the launch of the new product, Peter Turner, MD 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 vgher 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 their personal details, 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 with problems such as difficulty obtaining a mortgage or a job - both of which potentially have implications on an individual's reputation and finances.

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