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Security Corner

THIEVES Take to the Phones
& Tactics Grow More Sophisticated

One challenge for financial institutions in creating a Red Flag compliance plan is keeping up with the ever-evolving tactics of identity thieves. Therefore, compliance programs must be updated periodically, refl ecting the unfortunate fact that these criminals are always looking for new ways to steal.

Javelin Strategy & Research, a leading provider of quantitative research focused exclusively on financial services topics, has been conducting annual surveys on identity theft trends since 2003. The 2008 survey was conducted via telephone with 5,075 adults in the U.S., a representative sample. Based on the results, certain trends are apparent that financial institutions should be aware of:

Javelin recommends that financial institutions be direct and clear in communicating with account holders about security. Banks and credit unions stand to benefit by partnering with customers to fight fraud collectively, and by recognizing that consumers feel a sense of ownership over their financial safety. Internally, financial institutions must involve all key functional areas in fighting fraud, according to Javelin. This includes risk and fraud specialists, customer service, and marketing and product managers of both back-end security capabilities and customer-facing points. It’s important to take a holistic view of all risk and fraud investments by assessing the cost and return on investment of each solution through a set of standard, fact-based criteria.

For more information about this report, “The 2008 Identity Fraud Survey Report,” or other Javelin reports, please visit, or e-mail Javelin at or call (925)225-9100x30. For more information about the company, go to To register for Harland Clarke’s free identity theft class, contact your account executive or go to and click the Identity Theft Awareness link.