Fair Isaac Corporation, a provider of analytics, decision technology and fraud detection solutions to the financial services industry, announced that it has launched a new online consumer service created to provide consumers with the highest level of protection against identity theft and fraud.

ID Fraud Intercept, a new service available at www.myFICO.com, spots potential identify theft early by monitoring hundreds of databases for changes to the consumer's personal address or phone number – often the earliest indication of identity theft. The service also highlights signs of potential fraud that may appear in a customer's personal credit report and FICO score. In addition, customers receive detailed, expert guidance and online tools for monitoring their own credit reports and responding to possible identity theft.

Early detection is vital when detecting and preventing identity fraud, according to a recent survey report by the Federal Trade Commission. By discovering identity fraud within the first month, nine out of 10 victims are able to prevent the opening of fraudulent new accounts in their names, and three of four spend fewer than 10 hours resolving their problems. But when victims first discover identity fraud six months or longer after it began, three out of five of them lose money and four out of five take more than 10 hours – often substantially more – to resolve the resulting problems.

"ID Fraud Intercept gives consumers an important and powerful tool for protecting their credit and fighting fraud alongside financial institutions and other businesses who are already tapping into Fair Isaac's industry- standard fraud detection solutions," said Steve Platt, vice president of Global Fraud Solutions for Fair Isaac. "Our experience in helping businesses prevent fraud has proven that early detection is critical. Unfortunately, victims often don't know how their personal information was stolen, and they don't know what they need to do to prevent significant losses. The key is detecting ID fraud at the earliest possible stage and taking immediate action to prevent the misuse of information."

An estimated 10 million U.S. consumers were victimized by identity fraud in 2002. Recent data shows that as few as 15 percent of identity theft cases begin with a lost or stolen wallet, checkbook or credit card, while only five percent of cases involve stolen mail. Other common ways criminals obtain personal information are through transactions by phone, mail and Internet, or by misusing information entrusted to a co-worker or family member.

Subscribers to ID Fraud Intercept receive weekly e-mail alerts if changes to their personal information are detected. Each e-mail also links them to the suspicious information and provides comprehensive, personalized guidance for checking it and responding quickly if fraud is likely. Once each quarter, subscribers also receive their current FICO score and credit report plus a thorough assessment of any changes that may indicate credit fraud. If fraud does strike, the service provides a comprehensive fraud fighting kit with detailed instructions, as well as up to $25,000 in insurance(a) to help subscribers recover any costs, lost wages, legal defense fees and related expenses. A toll-free helpline is available to subscribers for expert answers and advice. The price for Identity Fraud Intercept is $89.95 per year.

With ID Fraud Intercept, Fair Isaac has linked its worldwide expertise in fraud detection technology with its industry-standard scoring solutions to directly assist consumers against this fastest-growing financial crime. The company's fraud detection solutions are already being used to protect more than 60 percent of all credit card transactions worldwide from payment card fraud. Creditors use the FICO credit score to make billions of credit decisions each year: more than 40 of the nation's 50 largest financial institutions rely on the FICO score to help them determine an individual's credit risk. ID Fraud Intercept is available on the myFICO.com Web site, which offers informative, actionable credit information services that help people improve and protect their overall financial health. Through www.myFICO.com and its associates, over three million FICO score-based information products have been purchased to date.

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