FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elise Brooks, (202) 589-2427
Identity Theft Rising But Protection Strengthening
Washington, D.C.—February 10, 2010—A Javelin survey reports today that while identity theft continues to rise, affecting 11 million Americans in 2009, an increase of 12%, the industry is working hard to help Americans protect themselves. For example, response time to victims has dramatically decreased by 30%. ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, a Roundtable affiliate, was a chief sponsor in the study.
“The report states that financial services companies are excelling at identity theft protection, which is great news,” said Leigh Williams, President of BITS, the Roundtable’s technology policy division. “Consumers can keep themselves out of harms way with simple fixes like keeping your social security card information private.”
“Another simple fix is to protect your online information by creating PINs and passwords that do not use readily identifiable information like names, birthdates and phone numbers,” added Paul Smocer, Vice President for Security for BITS.
Consumers who worry their identity has been compromised should first contact their financial services company to close any compromised accounts, place a fraud alert on their credit report with the three national credit bureaus, and file a police report. After restoring their identity, consumers may consider adding additional identity theft protection services.
The executive summary of the Javelin report can be found on ITAC’s website, www.identitytheftassistance.org.
BITS is the technology policy division of The Financial Services Roundtable, created to foster the growth and development of electronic financial services and e-commerce for the benefit of financial institutions and their customers. BITS focuses on strategic issues where industry cooperation serves the public good, such as critical infrastructure protection, fraud prevention, and the safety of financial services by leveraging intellectual capital to address emerging issues at the intersection of financial services, operations and technology. BITS’ efforts involve representatives from throughout our member institutions, including CEOs, CIOs, CISOs, and fraud, compliance and vendor management specialists. For more information, go to http://www.bits.org/
The Financial Services Roundtable represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO.
Roundtable member companies provide fuel for America's economic engine, accounting directly for $74.7 trillion in managed assets, $1.1 trillion in revenue, and 2.3 million jobs.