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MyFICO.com combats identity theft

June 17, 2004

E-mail updates alert consumers of personal data changes


Inman News

MyFICO.com, a division of Fair Isaac Corp., announced the launch of myFICO Identity Theft Security, a complete line of products and services that aim to deter consumer identity theft and protect credit.

Identity Theft Security aims to provide protection by constantly monitoring more than 400 data sources at regular intervals to help spot changes to a customer's name, address, phone number, date of birth or social security number that could indicate that identity theft has occurred. Customers can elect to have a weekly status update of monitoring activity e-mailed to them. When a suspicious change is detected, a myFICO security alert is e-mailed instantaneously.

"Most people are learning that the critical damage caused by identity theft is not so much the fraudulent charges, which in some cases are covered by the creditors," said Russ Mann, vice president of market management at myFICO. "What's most critical is the amount of time it takes to resolve identity theft issues and the damage it can do to your FICO credit score, which may increase the interest rates you pay on credit cards and home loans and in some cases can make credit unavailable when you need it most."

Other offerings include:

  • Identity theft insurance – In the event of identity theft, consumers are covered under a $25,000, $0 deductible identity theft insurance policy.
  • Toll-free help line with personal assistance – If fraud is detected, consumers can simply call the toll-free phone number, and myFICO's identity theft specialists will help them file a local police report and a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Assistants also help place a "fraud alert" on each of the consumer's three credit reports to help prevent further identity abuse.
  • FICO credit score tracking monitors – myFICO Identity Theft Security Deluxe includes quarterly tracking monitors that allow consumers to see how their FICO score may have changed over time. This unique, big-picture advantage gives them the ability to understand, at a glance, how detected activity could affect their score.
  • myFICO Identity Theft Security Premium, which will soon be available through certain bank partners and on the myFICO.com Web site later this year, gives consumers all the benefits of the Deluxe product, but with the added strength of Fair Isaac's Falcon Fraud Manager, a fraud prevention tool for credit, gasoline and retail card issuers. Falcon minimizes fraud losses by detecting fraudulent card transactions in real time, then instantaneously alerting the customer.

Identity theft has been called the fastest-growing crime in the country by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC says that more than 11 million people were victimized by identity theft last year. Without ID theft insurance, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that victims typically spend $800 in out-of-pocket costs to correct their credit profiles. On average, identity thieves stole nearly $7,000 per victim last year.

MyFICO.com is a unit of Fair Isaac that enables consumers to obtain their own FICO credit score. Fair Isaac provides analytics for banks, credit-card issuers, insurers and other companies.

Copyright: Inman News Features



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