"While an information security breach can take place electronically in seconds, the companies affected by the breach sometimes use the U. S. Postal Service for alerting impacted consumers about the exposure of their personal account information, giving identity thieves a big window of time to pile up fraudulent charges," said Bruce Cornelius, chief marketing officer for CreditReport.com. "Through our Identity Theft News, we hope to proactively arm consumers with breaking news and information on security breaches, so they can take immediate steps to both deter possible ID Theft and seek the restitution they deserve."
Federal law requires companies to disclose information security breaches, but in many cases, consumers may be due or can obtain additional compensation from companies that have allowed security breaches to expose their customers' personal information. For example, many companies offer to help potential fraud victims by providing a copy of their credit report and free or subsidized credit monitoring. However, some companies choose to offer these services only if the customer calls and asks for them.
"This makes it all the more important," Cornelius added, "for the customer to stay tuned to Identify Theft News and be steadfast in asking these companies for any benefit they're entitled to."
According to ID Theft Resource Center, by the end of September this year, there were a total of 391 breaches, which exposed about 13.4 million personal records. The 2009 study on ID theft from Javelin Strategy and Research Center reports that more than 10 million people were victims of ID theft in 2008, an increase of 22 percent over 2007, costing each victim an average of $500. Most ID theft still occurs via low tech methods such as stealing wallets or other personal information. With many lenders offering zero liability fraud protection programs, the cost of ID theft is being passed along to consumers in the form of higher credit card interest.
Cornelius said that the holiday shopping season traditionally brings an increase in identity theft occurrences as more shoppers make frequent purchases.
Based in greater Los Angeles, CreditReport.com is a leading provider of independent credit information to consumers, and specializes in the research, development and implementation of consumer-based services to be delivered to consumers via the Internet. The CreditReport.com service delivers an up-to-date e-commerce site that provides individuals with their personal credit information. More information can be found at www.creditreport.com.