First American CREDCO Announces Free Fraud Protection for Mortgage Customers

April 27, 2005

POWAY, Calif., /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- First American CREDCO, a leading provider of specialty credit reports to the mortgage, automotive and consumer finance industries and a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, announced plans to help protect their new and existing mortgage customers by offering its Fast Alert screening report, the industry's most comprehensive fraud and identity theft protection, for free during the month of May.

Recent news stories involving the identity theft of hundreds of thousands of individuals have left both business owners and consumers wondering how safe they really are. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, identity theft has become one of the country's fastest growing crimes. Last year, an estimated 9.3 million Americans, or one in every 23 adults, were victims of identity fraud. The Federal Trade Commission reports that fraud costs American businesses approximately $48 billion each year. Increasingly, the mortgage industry has become a prime target for fraud and identity thieves.

The FBI recently announced a five-fold increase in instances of mortgage fraud since 2001. First American CREDCO's "Fraud Awareness Month" is part of a concentrated effort to help protect its customers against this growing threat. "Between 10 and 15 percent of all home loan applications involve some form of fraud or misrepresentation," said Kathy Manzione, president of First American CREDCO Mortgage. "The best defense against fraud and identity theft is increased due diligence, especially when it comes to verifying applicant information. We want our customers to know that they have additional options to protect themselves, and that Fast Alert is the industry's most powerful solution for detecting these types of fraud."

Unlike any other tool, First American CREDCO's Fast Alert gathers all of the available fraud data from the three national bureaus, supplements it with additional fraud information from other data sources and consolidates everything into one easy-to-read format with clear messages indicating when further verification is required.

"By tapping more data sources than any other tool and crosschecking applicant-provided information, Fast Alert takes fraud prevention to the next level," said Manzione. "It helps ensure that our customers receive the highest level of protection available. And during the month of May, they can get it for free."

Source: The First American Corporation

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North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.