(SARASOTA, Fla. – July 30, 2008 – One You Security) The results of a research investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently revealed an apparent, significant upward trend in the incidence of mortgage fraud. Furthermore, homeowners who have Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) are prime targets for financial fraud, suggested a related statement from the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC). The best way to combat the threat is to transform Social Security numbers into something useless to thieves, who use these universal identifiers to obtain financial identities, said Robert Siciliano, widely televised and quoted identity theft protection expert and chief security analyst for One You Security, LLC.
"Social Security numbers’ de facto role as universal identifiers has fueled a massive increase in financial fraud—simply because these numbers allow criminals to assume others’ identities," said Siciliano. "Given the scope of financial fraud, which costs billions of dollars every year, consumers need a way to deprive thieves of the ability to gain access to someone else’s finances. They must implement measures that render those Social Security numbers useless to thieves."
Subscribers to One You Security receive newsletters and special alerts from Siciliano. Through these, they get the latest information on data breaches and learn more about identity theft prevention. Chief security analyst for One You Security and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, Siciliano regularly discusses data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s "Today Show," FOX News Network and elsewhere.
Released in April of 2008, the FBI’s 2007 Mortgage Fraud Report found that "Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from financial institutions indicated an increase in mortgage fraud reporting" in 2007. The year-over-year increase in SARs was 31 percent, according to the report, which went on to note that there is no central repository for mortgage fraud complaints in the U.S. Additionally, the report revealed that the total dollar impact of mortgage fraud is unknown, but that the losses associated with just 7 percent of SARs in 2007 was $813 million.
A July 8th news release from ITAC noted the FBI report’s attention to an emerging, related crime: home equity credit fraud. Consumers with HELOCs should regularly check them for suspicious activity and unaccountable discrepancies in balances, according to ITAC, whose announcement was reported in The New York Times on July 27.
"How do thieves obtain credit?" asked Chris Harris, president and CEO of One You Security. "They do so by assuming the identity of another person, and it’s largely the utility of Social Security numbers that allows them to do so. Financial fraud related to identity theft is in fact dependent on this, but the effect of One You’s service functionally strips Social Security numbers of this utility, leaving criminals with nothing but a bunch of nine-digit numbers that no longer give them access to would-be victims’ financial identities."
Consumers who choose One You Security do so in part because the company strives to transform their Social Security numbers into meaningless strings of digits of no use to thieves. The firm backs all its offerings with a 100 percent service guarantee.
The YouTube video below shows Siciliano on FOX News Network, where he explains how the ubiquity of Social Security numbers as universal identifiers helps thieves online and off-line. A collection of videos at VideoJug features Siciliano sharing advice on how consumers can protect themselves from identity theft and fraud.
About One You Security, LLC
Sarasota, Fla.-based One You Security‘s mission is to eliminate the threat and consequences of identity theft. For just $10 per month, anyone can sign up for One You Security’s identity theft protection service, a proactive, preventative approach whereby the company activates and manages its customers’ fraud alerts with major credit bureaus. Subscribers also receive full access to ongoing education from identity theft protection expert Robert Siciliano, chief security analyst for One You Security, which backs up its promise to protect clients’ financial identities with a 100 percent service guarantee. To sign up for One You Security, dial 1-800-434-2010.
Identity theft affects us all, and Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, chief security analyst for One You Security, and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report‘s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients. Author of "The Safety Minute: 01" and leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on "The Today Show," CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, "FOX News," "The Suze Orman Show," "The Montel Williams Show," "Maury Povich," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "The Howard Stern Show," and "Inside Edition." Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft protection. These include Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others. For more information, visit Siciliano’s Web site, blog, and YouTube page.
The media are encouraged to get in touch with any of the following individuals:
CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com
Chief Security Analyst for One You Security
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)