New research reveals the current consumer sentiment surrounding identity crime threats. We Divide Identity Crimes into three distinct areas:
- The theft or misplacement of information that can be used to identify you as an individual.
- The theft and misuse of a victim’s existing accounts, primarily financial accounts.
- The theft of an individual’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to create new accounts under the victim’s name.
Lost/Stolen PII Identity Fraud Identity Theft
As a leader in identity protection partnerships, we break down these findings to uncover the best practices for implementing your own value-add identity protection program.
History of Identity Crimes
It was a record year for fraud in 2016. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, 35.2 million Americans fell victim to an identity crime. That’s a new identity crime victim every second. Of particular importance was the peak in overall fraud incidence rates, which affected 15.4 million consumers. While progress has been made in the fight against identity crimes; including the introduction of EMV technology – these efforts have simply redirected criminals to other fraud methods.
Rise of Identity Crimes
The rise of identity crimes can be attributed to three primary drivers:
- Rising data breach incidents
- A thriving black market for PII
- Shifting fraud patterns
Protective Fraud Prevention
In recent years, proactive fraud prevention measures have taken the spotlight, with EMV being the poster child of these efforts. While EMV aims to keep payment cards safe from skimming and cloning (the theft and fraudulent use of card data), this nation-wide effort only diverted criminals to other methods. Soon after the U.S. rollout of EMV, new account fraud (identity theft) and account takeover rates began to rise. In 2016, new account fraud losses topped $3.6 billion. Both crimes take far longer and are far costlier to repair than credit or checking account fraud.
Americans earn an A+ in Awareness but Lack Appropriate Protection
Almost a quarter of our respondents have had their phone, wallet or laptop stolen and 17.7% of them were unable to recover their stolen device. And it’s no surprise, that 27% of consumers have already been the victim of identity theft. Data shows 74% worry their personal information will be compromised. The truth of the matter is that once information is out of their control, it’s gone forever. A single year of post breach identity protection does little to safeguard consumers. 46% of all identity theft victims were victimized multiple times – 15% experienced it three or more times. These individuals needed comprehensive, long-term protection.
The DIY Approach
Independent identity theft resolution, without the help of an identity protection service provider, requires numerous parties to be involved in clearing the victim’s name. On average victims dedicate 18 hours resolving the crime.
Trusted providers must step in where breach solutions fall short. While consumer preferences say “protect me,” their actions often fall short due to a lack of viable sources. Many of these users receive complimentary post-breach services. These services can often be riddled with problems and lackluster customer service, as breached companies have little time or capital to invest into superior protection products.
Still, consumers want identity protection – just the right kind. More than half of consumers believe identity protection is important, but want to receive it as a benefit from a trusted provider. The need for superior protection presents a major opportunity for companies with existing relationships. Promoting an identity protection program can ignite engagement, loyalty and satisfaction
Program Best Practices
Seven Best Practices for Launching an Effective Identity Theft Protection Program
- Know Your Culture
What makes sense for your organization? Look to your own strengths to understand how an identity protection program can cohesively fit into your existing offerings and image.
- Align Your Organizational Goals
What’s driving the demand for identity protection? Whether you hope to engage, retain or even incentivize action with identity protection – your goals should always lead the way.
- Assess Consumer Demographics
Consumer tastes are never cut and dry. Investigate the preferences of your desired demographic to implement a truly action-worthy protection program.
- Find a Trusted Partner in Protection
With expert guidance, world-class support and a focus on your goals – an identity protection partnership acts as an extension of your brand and brings more than just a new product to the table.
- Pair the Right Products and Processes
Choose products from an industry leader that follows the latest compliance and security protocols. Back these with proven processes such as secure data transfer and streamlined implementation.
- Practice Clear Communication
Back your program with effective communication tools. These can include ads, fliers, educational handouts, a dedicated website, emails and training to help spread the word.
- Always Analyze
Review program results and compare it to your initial goals. Revisit your analytics often and make changes as needed.
Results Happen When You Protect What’s Really Important
As criminals evolve, with the rise in technology and the birth of the connected consumer, identity theft protection must evolve as well.
The consumer data in the EZShield 2017 Identity Crime Report is based on information collected in a random sample of 1,203 individuals. This research consisted of an online quantitative survey conducted on August 22, 2016. Respondents were over the age of 18 with varying household income levels and resided in the United States.
At EZShield, we have a multitude of products to protect against identity crimes. We’re proud to exemplify the program best practices as the leader in identity protection partnerships. Our award-winning products are trusted by more than 15 million consumers and small businesses through a network of over 2,000 trusted partners. Our success lies in the comprehensive, partner-focused approach we take. From our always serving, never selling customer service appeal to our expert strategy insights and analysis – EZShield can help propel your organization’s identity protection program to new heights.
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