Intersections Inc.

February 28, 2005 17:08 ET

Concern About Identity Theft Growing in Canada; Eighty Percent of Canadians Think Identity Theft Is a Serious Problem; One-Third More Concerned Than a Year Ago




FEBRUARY 28, 2005 - 17:08 ET

Concern About Identity Theft Growing in Canada; Eighty
Percent of Canadians Think Identity Theft Is a Serious
Problem; One-Third More Concerned Than a Year Ago

TORONTO and CHANTILLY, Va.--(CCNMatthews - Feb 28, 2005) -

Four in five Canadians think identity theft is a serious problem in
Canada and that concern is growing as the number of people with personal
experience with the crime increases, according to a new telephone poll
conducted for Intersections Inc. (Nasdaq:INTX) and Carlson Marketing
Group Canada Ltd. by Ipsos-Reid.

The survey, called the Identity Theft Index Canada (ITIC), is the first
in a series of tracking polls the companies intend to commission to
gauge the level of awareness of and types of responses to the growing
crime of identity theft among Canadian consumers. Intersections and
Carlson are among the over 35 members of the Fraud Prevention Forum who
collaborate with the Competition Bureau of Canada to help combat
consumer fraud. As part of this effort, the groups marked February as
Fraud Awareness Month.

The ITIC poll found that one in four Canadians reported that they have
been, or someone they personally know has been, a victim of identity
theft. This is made up of nine percent who said they, or they and
someone they know personally, have been victims; and 17 percent who said
someone they know personally has been a victim.

As a possible result of these experiences, one-third of respondents said
their level of concern about them or someone they know becoming a victim
of this crime is higher than a year ago.

The types of fraud resulting from identity theft crime are wide-ranging,
according to the ITIC poll. Among those who have been a victim or
personally know someone who has been a victim of identity theft, seventy
percent said the identity theft resulted in unauthorized credit card
purchases, the most frequent, but least costly form of identity theft
fraud for consumers. However, significant percentages of these
respondents reported more serious frauds, including takeover of existing
credit card accounts (43%), the opening of new credit card accounts
(36%) or new loans (22%), unauthorized bank account access (42%) and the
use of the victims' personal information in other types of frauds, such
as to obtain government benefits or medical care (24%).

"Many cases of identity theft perpetrated against Canadians are
resulting in serious crimes that go well beyond simple credit card fraud
where the consumer's liability has traditionally been limited," said
Sheila McCracken, who represents Intersections' Canadian solutions
group. "These more significant frauds can have serious implications for
consumers in terms of losses."

The majority of identity theft fraud in Canada appears to be self
detected. More than one-third (34%) of Canadian victims discovered the
fraud while reviewing their bank or credit card statements (26%) or
credit reports (8%). Thirty percent reported that their bank or credit
card company first discovered the fraud, the ITIC poll found.

It is not surprising then that 92 percent of Canadians said they are
responsible for protecting themselves from identity theft. However,
compared to the results of a previous poll conducted for Intersections
in June 2004, increasing majorities also feel that others, such as banks
(87%, up 3%), credit card companies (85%, up 2%) the government (79%, up
11%), credit bureaus (75%, up 4%) and retailers (72%, up 2%) are also
responsible for protecting them.

Encouragingly, seventy percent of respondents reported that they
consider themselves 'very well' or 'somewhat' informed about how to
protect against identity theft. When asked what steps they have ever
taken to protect against identity theft, a majority of respondents said
they have followed the security procedures requested by their credit
card company (68%), reviewed their credit reports (65%) or bought a
shredder or destroy documents (54%). Fewer Canadians have stopped
banking or shopping online (30%), subscribed to a credit monitoring
service (18%) or bought identity theft insurance or other identity theft
recovery services (17%) to protect against identity theft.

"Quick discovery of identity theft crime is essential to stopping fraud
and reducing losses," said John Holman, Vice President for Carlson's
Membership Marketing division. "It is clear that right now a vigilant
consumer remains one of his own best defenses against identity theft and
the fraud that often results from it."

Intersections, in partnership with Carlson, offers the only credit
monitoring service that monitors consumers' files at both major credit
reporting agencies in Canada - Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada - on
a daily basis for red flags that may indicate identity theft or fraud.
The service, called CreditAlert™, is available through financial
institutions in both English and French.

Not surprisingly, many Canadians feel that more can be done by others to
alleviate the problem of identity theft. Just under half (46%) think
that banks and credit card companies are doing enough to protect
consumers from identity theft and fraud. Half (49%) think law
enforcement is doing enough and 47 percent think the media is doing a
good job protecting them. Only minorities of Canadians feel that the
government (40%), credit bureaus (37%) and retailers (35%) are doing
enough to help fight the identity theft problem in Canada.

"Canadian consumers want more to be done to help fight identity theft
and fraud across the board," said McCracken. "These results support the
need for organizations, such as banks, credit card companies and
retailers to do more to prevent identity theft collaboratively with
government, law enforcement and other organizations."

Intersections Inc. and Carlson Marketing Group Canada, Ltd. offer the
following tips to help consumers recognize, report and stop identity
theft and fraud:

Recognize It

-- Review your credit card and bank statements regularly and thoroughly
for any suspicious activity.

-- Review your credit reports on a regular basis.

-- Subscribe to a daily credit monitoring service for timely
notification of any potentially fraudulent activity on your credit file,
so that you can take action right away to stop it.

-- Never respond to unsolicited e-mails or phone calls asking for your
SIN, billing, login or any other personal information.

Report It

-- Promptly report cases of fraud to your bank or credit card company,
the credit bureaus, law enforcement and PhoneBusters.

Stop It

-- Report and dispute any errors or fraudulent activity on your credit
report immediately. The sooner you address fraudulent activity, the less
damage will be done to your credit.

-- Keep a registry of your cards, account numbers, expiration dates and
toll-free customer service numbers and keep it in a safe place. Report
your cards lost or stolen as soon as you notice they are missing.

-- Update your computer's virus detection software regularly.

-- Shred all documentation that identifies your personal information.

-- Never use your SIN or your birth date as your logon, password or PIN.

-- Do not leave credit card or other payments in an unlocked mailbox.
Drop them off at the post office or in a secure mailbox.

-- When traveling, be extra cautious about guarding your personal
information in internet cafes and when connecting to public wireless
access points.

These are some of the findings of a national Ipsos-Reid telephone poll
conducted on behalf of Intersections Inc. and Carlson Marketing Group
between January 28 and 31, 2005. The poll is based on a randomly
selected sample of 1,001 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size,
the results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.1 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger
within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.
These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender
composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to
the 2001 Census data.

For full results, visit

About Intersections Inc.

Intersections Inc. is the leading provider of branded and
fully-customized consumer identity theft protection and credit
management services to the customers of financial institutions and
financial services companies in North America. Using our technology
solutions and marketing capabilities, we assist these companies in
meeting the needs of their customers in an effective, efficient and
ethical environment. Intersections currently provides its services to
over 2.9 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about
Intersections at

About Carlson Marketing Group

Carlson Marketing Group, a recognized leader in Relationship Marketing,
helps global Fortune 1000 clients improve their ROI by designing
integrated marketing strategies that build better relationships with the
audiences that clients depend on for their success: employees, channel
partners, and consumers. Carlson Marketing Group is ranked #12 by
Advertising Age Magazine amongst the World's Top Advertising
Organizations and has an extensive global presence with offices in
Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and South America. Carlson Marketing
Group is one of the major operating groups of Carlson Companies, which
is recognized as one of the top 100 companies to work for by Fortune and
Working Mother magazines. Carlson Marketing Group Canada began
operations in 1955 and is now Canada's leading Relationship Marketing
agency, employing over 400 marketing professionals with offices in
Toronto and Montreal.

Statements in this press release relating to future plans, results,
performance, expectations, achievements and the like are considered
"forward-looking statements." Those forward-looking statements involve
known and unknown risks and are subject to change based on various
factors and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ
materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. Factors
and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ include, but
are not limited to, the risks disclosed in Intersections' filings with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no
obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements.

Credit Alert and Alerte credit are trademarks of Intersections Inc. For
more information, visit


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