BETHESDA, MD--(Marketwired - Nov 1, 2016) - Generali Global Assistance ("GGA" or "the Company"), a leader in the assistance industry since its founding in 1963 and part of the global Generali Group, and the developer of the Iris® identity protection platform, today announced the release of an educational white paper and corresponding webinar, titled "Identity Theft and the Holiday Season."
The two-part series outlines in detail the concerning rise in identity theft reported in the months of December and January over the past four years, and provides expert recommendations regarding what consumers can do to protect themselves from these damaging attacks on personal finances. Certain behaviors during the holidays leave consumers more exposed and at greater risk of identity fraud, including increased credit card usage and online shopping, and more travel. Consumers are also less likely to be vigilant about monitoring their accounts and reporting unusual activity this time of year, which is especially concerning given the proliferation of scams related to shopping, false charities, and utilities during the cold winter months.
Identity theft and the associated spike in activity during the holidays impacts millions of people, and the end appears to be nowhere in sight. According to the 2016 Javelin Identity Fraud report, identity theft cost consumers more than $15 billion in 2015. Fortunately, consumer advocates and policymakers have been raising awareness about identity theft and are actively promoting legislation to punish cybercriminals, and other safeguards to protect identity-related assets. Additionally, by taking proactive steps to ensure their identities are secure, consumers can protect themselves during the holidays and throughout the year.
The white paper is available for download at the following link: www.irisidentityprotection.com/holidaywhitepaper
Julie Jamsa, Vice President, Service Delivery at Generali Global Assistance's Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today's news, "With holiday season identity theft trending upwards each year, we all need to be more vigilant about securing personal information. Technology has simplified our lives, but transitioning to a digital age has left consumers vulnerable and often unable to handle the complex problems associated with fraud without the right resources available. The holidays are a time for celebration, but it is critical that consumers and industry leaders alike enact proactive measures to protect identities."
As part two of the series, Generali Global Assistance, in partnership with the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), will host a webinar to discuss findings from the white paper, and provide additional insight on how consumers can protect themselves from the surge in identity theft during the holiday season.
Moderated by Julie Jamsa of GGA's Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, panelists include Eva Velasquez, President and CEO at the ITRC, and Lisa Schifferle, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.
WEBINAR: Identity Theft and the Holiday Season
DATE: November 15, 2016
TIME: 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
Eva Velasquez is the President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. She is recognized as a nationwide expert on identity theft, and has a passion for consumer protection and educating the public about identity theft, privacy, scams and fraud, and other related issues. Ms. Velasquez previously served as the Vice President of Operations for the San Diego Better Business Bureau and spent 21 years at the San Diego District Attorney's Office.
Lisa Weintraub Schifferle is an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Division of Consumer & Business Education. She regularly trains advocates across the country on identity theft and scams. Before arriving at the FTC, Ms. Schifferle spent eight years at the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau as a Staff Attorney and Supervising Attorney.
Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance's Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit, concluded, "A few simple preventative measures can mean the difference between a joyous holiday season and one ruined by identity theft. With that in mind, identity protection should be at the top of everyone's holiday wish list this year. In conjunction with the ITRC, our white paper and webinar provide crucial information for protecting identities, and all associated digital assets. By taking proactive steps to ensure their privacy is protected and their personal data is secure, consumers can help prevent identity theft, fraud, and scams both during the holidays and throughout the year."
More information about the Iris® identity protection platform is available at www.IrisIdentityProtection.com.
About Generali Global Assistance (GGA)
Generali Global Assistance (GGA), formerly Europ Assistance in the U.S., is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been a leader in the assistance industry since its founding in 1963. GGA is a brand of Europ Assistance Group and part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 76,000 employees. Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.
About the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)
The ITRC is a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cyber security, scams/fraud and privacy issues.