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Travel Insurance Can Protect Against ID TheftApril 12, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
The explosive growth of smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and interactive social media, all popular communication tools for travelers, has accompanied one of America’s most popular growth crimes: identity theft, according to Travel Insured International.
According to CNN Money, identity theft complaints comprised the highest number of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2010, totaling to 19 percent, more than 250,000 of 1.3 million total consumer complaints. The annual Identity Fraud Survey by Javelin Strategy and Research, conducted among 5,000 consumers at the end of 2010, found that while overall identity theft-related fraud declined in 2010 compared to 2009 thanks to corporate vigilance, the cost to each victim increased sharply. Javelin also found that “new account fraud” cost consumers some $17 billion in 2010.
The insurer said that, to help travelers combat identity theft, it has included ID Theft Recovery Assistance at no extra premium cost in its comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plans. Insured travelers whose personal identity information is lost, stolen or compromised during their insured trip receive assistance from Travel Insured’s partners at ID Experts. ID Experts is a ID theft recovery specialist.
ID Experts will contact credit card companies, banks and other creditors on behalf of the customer, as well as the three major credit bureaus to help restore their credit standing prior to the identity breach while working to eliminate unauthorized debts. Beem said ID Experts can keep an active case of ID Theft open for up to three years to provide recovery assistance needed to address additional ID theft activity stemming from the original, but the customer can discontinue this service at any time.
ID Theft recovery services provided include:
• Help to replace lost or stolen passport, or travel documents.
• Filing loss or theft reports with local authorities.
• Helping deactivate and replace stolen credit or debit cards
• Contacting credit bureaus to help restore pre-fraud credit ratings.
• Contacting banks and creditors to protect accounts
• Notifying family or employer about missing data
Travel Insured also recommends that clients use common sense prevention to avoid identity theft, including the following prevention tips recommended by the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Travel Insurance Association and ID Experts:
• Never carry a Social Security card in your wallet or purse. Lock it away safely at home.
• Keep personal profile information private on social media pages. Never post any financial-related info or identity-related numbers, including addresses. The same is true of text messages.
• Use credit cards, not debit cards for travel. Charges can be reversed. Debit cards tap bank accounts
• Do not put a credit card number or other financial information on public computers.
• Never leave an ATM or credit card swipe machine until a transaction is completed and the machine is cleared.
• Never give credit card info over the phone to a hotel employee. Go to the front desk and confirm the validity of the request.
• Be aware of ATM machine surroundings. Watch for anyone taking your picture with a digital camera or mobile device.