Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud Claims

  Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud
  Claims

       73% of identity fraud cases resulted from stolen personal items

Business Wire

HARTFORD, Conn. -- November 26, 2012

Despite increased adoption of online shopping, mobile payment and banking
apps, offline methods are the top known causes of identity fraud, according to
a new study from Travelers (NYSE: TRV). The first insurance carrier to offer
identity fraud insurance reports that even in the digital era, burglary,
stolen wallets and pilfered identifications account for 73 percent of all
cases, according to a comprehensive study of 2011 Travelers claim data.

Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud
Claims - 73% of identity f ...

Travelers Study Reveals Offline Methods Are Top Causes for Identity Fraud
Claims - 73% of identity fraud cases resulted from stolen personal item
(Graphic: Travelers)

Stolen or misplaced items, such as wallets and pocketbooks, accounted for the
most common known causes for identity fraud. In the number two spot was a
stolen or compromised license, Social Security card or other form of personal
identification, according to the company’s 2011 claim data. Burglaries rated
third, followed by cyber breaches (including Internet scams) and old-fashioned
forgeries.

Since identity thieves acquire valuable personal information in less obvious
ways—from sorting through trash for bank statements to stealing pre-approved
credit card applications in the mail—only 10 percent of survey respondents
could identify whom the perpetrator was who committed identity fraud against
them.

“When everyday essentials, like wallets or drivers licenses, are stolen or go
missing, identity fraud often follows,” said Joe Reynolds, Identity Fraud
Product Manager at Travelers. “Credit cards, drivers licenses and other
sources of personal information enable criminals to commit a fraud or crime,
all in your name.”

Travelers found the following as the top known causes of identity fraud:

  *73 percent - burglary and theft of wallet/purse/personal
    identification/computer
  *15 percent - online or data breach
  *10 percent - forgery
  *2 percent - change of address/postal fraud

“People are not always aware that someone is illegally using their identity
until suspicious activity appears on their monthly financial statement,” said
Reynolds. “It is critical that consumers closely review these monthly
documents, and remember to immediately call the bank if they suspect
fraudulent activity.”

Consumers can take preventative measures to protect themselves from identity
fraud. Travelers offers the following tips to avoid having identities stolen:

  *Carry only the essentials: Leave the unnecessary credit cards and critical
    documents in a discrete, burglar-proof location in your home.
  *Beware of scams: Do not fall for scams intended to pull at your heart
    strings. Do not disclose personal information, such as credit card and
    bank account details, if you receive an unsolicited request.
  *Do not throw away -- destroy: Shred old bills and financial statements
    rather than placing them in the trash.
  *Make security a priority: Make sure to store purses and wallets in a safe
    place, never print account information on envelopes of outgoing mail, and
    be careful about sharing personal information on social media.
  *Know your score: Check your free credit report annually from the national
    credit reporting agencies by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.

Travelers’ Identity Fraud Expense Coverage is available as an endorsement on a
homeowners policy for $25 annually and offers protection up to $25,000 per
insured person with no deductible and includes comprehensive Identity Fraud
Resolution Services. Travelers also offers Identity Fraud Expense
Reimbursement Coverage to financial institutions and commercial entities as an
employee, customer or membership benefit.

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property
casualty insurance for auto, home and business. The company's diverse business
lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage sold primarily
through independent agents and brokers. A component of the Dow Jones
Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and operations in
the United States and selected international markets. The company generated
revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2011. For more information, visit
www.travelers.com.

*Travelers insurance policies are sold by the Travelers Indemnity Company.

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Contact:

The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Gary Griffin, 860-954-1371
ggriffin@travelers.com
 
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