Identity Theft Articles

New Program Introduced To Fight Identity Theft

Enhanced program helps fight identity theft that results from a data breach

Affinion Security Center has announced enhancements to its BreachShield product which provide additional protection against identity theft resulting from a data breach. Statistics from the Identity Theft Research Center show that more than 223 million records were compromised as a result of data breaches in 2009.

"As we saw in 2009, breaches can come in all sizes, from 30 records to 30 million, and are becoming more complex in nature," stated Affinion Security Center CEO Tom Rusin.

The enhanced BreachShield software will offer a number of services to consumers whose personal information has been compromised due to a data breach. The internet surveillance feature discreetly monitors underground data-trading networks, such as chat rooms and websites, that allow criminals to buy and sell stolen personal information. Alerts are sent out to members whose personal information is recognized.

The data sweep feature will monitor online directories every two weeks for the member's address, email address and telephone number. If the program finds the member's information on any online directory, they will be provided with the name of the website displaying the information and guidance on how to have the information removed.

Identity theft insurance up to $1 million is also offered through BreachShield for legal expenses and fraudulent activity.

Medical identity theft is one of the fastest-growing types of identity theft and, unlike traditional identity theft, may pose life-threatening dangers in certain situations. Criminals who gain access to a person's medical or insurance records can use the information to obtain medical services or submit false insurance claims under the victim's name. Criminals who seek medical care under their victim's identity may seriously jeopardize their health in future medical emergencies where the victim may be unconscious or in surgery. In these cases, victim's whose medical records have been altered may be given medicine they are allergic to or treatments that may interfere with an underlying condition removed from their records.

In an effort to safeguard medical data, the BreachShield enhancements will provide a range of programs to help members request and protect their medical records. The Medical Information Bureau Records Request and Reimbursement application provides members with a copy of their medical records along with reimbursement for the cost of the information. Members will also have access to medical information request formats, making it more convenient for the member to request medical information from hospitals and insurance providers.