The majority of identity fraud cases are the result of burglary or stolen personal items, a new study from The Travelers Companies Inc. suggests.
The Hartford, Conn.-based property and casualty insurance provider stated that in 73% of all cases, identity fraud is caused by burglary or stolen personal items.
“Stolen or misplaced items, such as wallets and pocketbooks, accounted for the most common known causes for identity fraud,” Travelers stated in a press release Monday. “In the number two spot was a stolen or compromised license, social security cards or other form of personal identification, according to the company’s 2011 claim data.”
In addition to theft and misplaced items, the top known causes of identity fraud were online or data breach (15% of cases), forgery (10% of cases) and change of address or postal fraud (2% of cases).
In its press release, Travelers advises consumers to review monthly financial statements, to leave unnecessary credit cards and critical documents in a burglar-proof location at home, to not disclose credit card and bank details when receiving unsolicited requests, to shred old bills and financial statements before throwing them away and to be careful about sharing personal information on social media.