Identity Theft Prevention: Reclaiming the Upper Hand

October 20, 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA October 20, 2005

Estimates of identity theft are growing but financial institutions are now outfitted with new solutions to curb crime.

Identity theft steals headlines on a daily basis, but the real story may be hiding behind all the hype, according to a new report, " ." The report analyzes the growing problem of identity theft and outlines recommendations banks can follow to reduce risk.

Fraud has become a considerable concern for individuals and is taking a toll on the financial services industry. If a bank has not been directly hit by fraud, it has undoubtedly applied resources preventing it. And consumers are increasingly calling on the industry to take action against identity theft.

Although the number of victims is difficult to determine, one thing is certain葉he number of victims is increasing. In 2002, the industry estimated that there were over 250,000 victims in one year. Today, estimates are closer to 10 million.

"Identity theft is a difficult hurdle to overcome," says Ariana-Michele Moore, senior analyst and author of the report. "Some power remains in the hands of financial institutions, but much is also beyond their control. Personal information is increasingly easier to come by, and it is impossible to call out a criminal when they hold all the right information."

But fortunately for financial institutions and their customers, there are ways to help prevent the dissemination of personal information and its illegal use. The report outlines various tactics, from technology solutions to simple solutions using a pad and paper, to government regulations.

"The best solutions address not only today痴 identity theft but account for mutations of fraud that will inevitably occur down the road," says Moore.

This report is an update to Celent痴 July 2002 report, "ID Theft: Protecting the Customer猶rotecting the Institution." The new report explores the issues surrounding identity theft today, the challenges banks are facing or will face, and many of the available solutions. The report also examines the emergence of consumer-oriented identity theft tools and describes tactics to prevent fraud.

A table of contents for this 45-page report is available online.

of Celent's Retail Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents


San Francisco, CA, USA October 20,  2005

Return to report Abstract

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 6
  Defining ID Theft 6
  Today's ID Theft 9
  Perceived Threat of ID Theft 12
  Repercussions of ID Theft 15
  Pressure to Act 17
  Addressing the Issue 20
Protecting Consumer Data 21
  Industry Best Practices 22
  Customer Education 23
  Cutting the Phishing Line 25
  The Reality 27
Preventing The Use Of Information 29
  The Need For a Next Generation National Standard 30
  Interim Solution 31
Empowering Consumers: Empowering Bank? 33
Identifying Thieves From Customers? 36
  Fighting Back With Authentication 36
Conclusion 41
Objectivity & Methodology 43

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