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The Identity Theft Resource Center and LexisNexis Risk Solutions…

Taylor Johnston

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Pandemic-Related Identity Fraud Crime Victim Impacts Report

“This report shows the scope of the fraud, and gives us a roadmap for how to help avoid similar mass fraud events while respecting consumer privacy,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

The Identity Theft Resource Center(R) (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, and – LexisNexis(R) Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, analytics, and technology to help organizations manage risk – have released the Pandemic-Related Identity Fraud Crime Victim Impacts Report. The report shows how individuals and government agencies have been impacted since 2020 by an unprecedented wave of government benefits identity fraud.

Based on responses from more than 1,800 consumers, self-identified identity crime victims, and government officials, the pandemic-related identity fraud report was originally presented at the ITRC 2022 Government Identity Fraud Summit in April.

“We speak with identity crime victims every day at the ITRC,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “However, during the past two years, we have seen a volume and velocity of identity fraud on an unprecedented scale. This report shows the scope of the fraud, and gives us a roadmap for how to help avoid similar mass fraud events while respecting consumer privacy.”

“We are proud to collaborate with impactful organizations like the ITRC to protect Americans from identity theft and provide resources for those in need,” said Haywood Talcove, CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “We believe in putting people first in any discussion about fraud prevention, because every statistic represents a real person and potentially a family negatively impacted by identity theft. The pandemic put an unprecedented strain on government benefit systems. Studies such as this can help us improve technology and continue to assist government agencies as they work to provide critical services to deserving citizens.”

The pandemic-related identity fraud report points to several areas of concern, including:


Forty-two (42) percent of pandemic benefit applicants reported being the victim of identity fraud that led to them being denied benefits or benefits being disbursed in their name when they had not applied.
Twenty-four (24) percent of victims’ cases required between six months and one year to resolve. Eight (8) percent of 2021 victims describe their cases as unresolved in April 2022.
Fifty-nine (59) percent of government executives reported that they have modernized their technology since January 1, 2020. Thirty-one (31) percent added steps to their identity verification process, 13 percent added new tools, five (5) percent moved to an automated ID verification system, and three (3) percent added a new vendor.
Seventy-one (71) percent of those who made changes to their identity verification process saw no change in the acceptance/rejection rate, while 24 percent saw the acceptance rate increase. Six (6) percent saw the rejection rate increase, and six (6) percent saw the fraudulent application acceptance rate increase.
There are significant disconnects between the types of identity credentials consumers are required to provide to government agencies and the willingness or desire of individuals to provide the information. While 16 percent of consumers expressed no qualms with providing the requested information, the remaining respondents revealed varying levels of concern. The largest group of consumers – 48 percent – were concerned that their personal information could be exposed in a data breach. Employee misuse, government surveillance, profiling and identity confusion were the other concerns identified.

View the full pandemic-related identity fraud report here.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center(R) (ITRC) is a national nonprofit organization established to empower and guide consumers, victims, business and government to minimize risk and mitigate the impact of identity compromise and crime. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its website live-chat idtheftcenter.org and toll-free phone number 888.400.5530. The ITRC also equips consumers and businesses with information about recent data breaches through its data breach tracking tool, notified. The ITRC offers help to specific populations, including the deaf/hard of hearing and blind/low vision communities.

About LexisNexis Risk Solutions

LexisNexis(R) Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries, including insurance, financial services, healthcare, and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit http://www.risk.lexisnexis.com and http://www.relx.com.

Media Contacts

Identity Theft Resource Center

Alex Achten

Head of Earned & Owned Media Relations

888.400.5530 Ext. 3611

media@idtheftcenter.org

LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Paul Eckloff

Mobile: 202.941.6986

Paul.Eckloff@lnssi.com

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Original Article: prweb.com

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Zappix Signs New Customers in the SLED Market and Public Sector

Taylor Johnston

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Zappix Signs New Customers in the SLED Market

We’re glad to help these government organizations deliver easy to use self-service. Zappix Visual Self-Service solutions are helping residents around the country get the service they deserve quickly and effectively while increasing efficiency and reducing costs for contact centers.

Zappix, the leading provider of Visual Self-Service, will provide visual self-service and digital automation including their flagship Visual IVR solution to public sector organizations in the SLED Market through a Zappix industry partner.

The Zappix SLED self-service solution will provide digital Self-Service to residents and citizens calling into public sector contact centers to improve the experience and increase efficiency by deflecting calls from agents to Visual Self-Service. These solutions, including the company’s flagship Visual IVR solution, will empower citizens with instant engagement tools. Easy to navigate, automated, visual menus provide assistance through multiple digital channels 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

“We’re glad to help these government organizations deliver the innovative, easy to use, self-service solutions the public demands today,” said Yossi Abraham, Zappix CEO & President. “Digital Transformation is key to success in the modern landscape, and Zappix Visual Self-Service solutions are helping residents around the country get the service they deserve quickly and effectively while increasing efficiency and reducing costs for contact centers.”

The growing market demand for self-service solutions illustrates an acceleration in digital transformation and reflects the record growth Zappix has been experiencing during the last year. The company notes four key trends that have dominated customer service solutions this year, and expects them to continue into the future:

Expand Digital Self-Service usage — by offering self-service options for the most common tasks and call types, and deflecting calls away from live agents
Reduce customer effort — service solutions must be easy for residents to find and simple to use wherever and whenever they need them
Increase first call resolution — by applying the right level of automation with well designed UI
Reduce employee effort — deflect repetitive and mundane tasks away from staff; provide agent assistance tools to make the handling of the calls faster and more efficient

A key piece of the Zappix Visual Self-Service suite of solutions, Visual IVR stands to greatly improve interactions between residents and government organizations. When callers connect with an IVR equipped with Zappix Visual IVR, they are provided with an option to use self-service. When they choose it, the caller receives a text message with a link to the visual experience. The resident then resolves the reason they called using their mobile phone, all in simple to use visual menus.

About Zappix

Zappix delivers AI-powered On-Demand Visual Self-Service Solutions: Visual IVR, On-Demand Apps, Proactive Engagement, Agent Assist, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The cloud-based solutions improve the customer journey during contact center interactions. The open platform enables workflow automation, rapid deployments, and seamless integration to back-end systems (CRMs, ERPs, etc.), and IVRs, and provides a comprehensive Analytics Suite.

Zappix provides significant benefits and ROI: reducing costs by increasing containment rates for contact centers, improving customer experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS), creating new revenue opportunities using targeted promotional banners and automation of revenue-generating use-cases.

To learn more about Zappix, go to http://www.zappix.com.

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People First Launches First Microinfluencer Platform for Politics…

Taylor Johnston

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People First, formerly Main Street One, today announced the first microinfluencer platform for political, brand, and social advocacy campaigns. Progressive organizations may now source and distribute authentic videos, posts, and comments from any audience or any voter segment at scale.

Unlike networks of like-minded or politically active people, clients can commission content from virtually anyone, any voter segment, geography, profession, party affiliation, identity, age, race, sexuality, or gender. Campaigns are no longer restricted by the size and composition of an existing database, lack of quality and verification with influencer search engines, or lack of persuasion from celebrity endorsements.

People First’s managed services platform offers an end-to-end solution for organizations to source and distribute personal and local peer-to-peer content at both speed and scale. Its digital relational organizing team and tool manages the A) Identification, B) Approval, C) Recruitment, D) Briefing, E) Copy/Art Editing, F) Distributing (via organic and paid channels such as whitelisted social ads), and G) measuring campaigns (persuasion, performance, and recall) through secure client portals.

“Americans increasingly distrust institutions, including political campaigns, the media, government, and corporations,” said CEO Curtis Hougland. “Instead, they build trust through their relationships online. So, we built a platform that invites real people to share their lived experiences on behalf of causes and campaigns that they support. Real people are the most persuasive messengers to skeptical audiences. People are both the medium and message in advocacy today.”

The platform is channel-agnostic with the functionality to source content on any social or mobile messaging platform, including TikTok, Instagram, Vkontakte, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn, Next Door, Weibo, and Facebook, among others.

As a result of this specialized approach, People First fuels advocacy campaigns on public health issues such as vaccine hesitancy and mental health for Ad Council, up and down ballot political races for Democratic committees such as DGA, workers’ rights and the benefits of Unions for AFSCME, and social justice and equal rights campaigns for organizations such as Black Lives Matter. During this critical period in advance of the midterm election in the U.S., Unite the Country PAC is partnering with People First to execute the most extensive microinfluencer campaign in U.S. political history on behalf of the president’s economic and social agenda.

In a recent study in partnership with the DGA, microinfluencer content from People First was 28% more likely to be recalled versus a control ad and 45% more likely to be recalled by regular Instagram users. In a recent study by The Ad Council people reported that “trusted messengers” are perceived as 79% honest and 71% are seen as unbiased “presenting multiple points of view/give both sides of an issue.”

“People trust their communities,” added Chief Digital Officer Ryan Davis. “This highly personal content is 6x more likely to be shared and 14x more likely to be clicked on average than benchmarks published by the technology platforms. It is state of the art digital organizing.”

People First will remain available and viable despite any potential political ad bans by the tech platform and enables affinity-based campaigning regardless of platform changes.

ABOUT PEOPLE FIRST

People First, formerly Main Street One, pioneered microinfluencer marketing for brands, political, and cause-advocacy campaigns. Founded originally to remediate disinformation, the company now sources and distributes more peer-to-peer videos, posts, and reviews than any other advocacy organization. In the run-up to the 2020 election, People First sourced and distributed more than 15,000 individual posts and videos on behalf of progressive organizations, as well as dozens of campaigns, NGOs, PACs, and other IEs – illustrated here. People First received original funding from Higher Ground Labs and works in partnership with Village Square on integrated political media campaigns. People First is a member of the Dawn Network. The company is based in New York City; however, we have been a remote office since inception with organizers across the country and unlimited PTO.

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Unlicensed Spectrum Does Provide Reliable Internet Access: a Statement…

Taylor Johnston

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The data we collect at Preseem proves that ISPs using fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum provide consistently reliable service, as measured in low latency, customer satisfaction, and reduced churn rates, among other factors.

This is a statement from Preseem regarding the NTIA’s $41.6-billion BEAD Program and its definition of Reliable Broadband Service.

On May 13, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced over $40 billion in funding for nationwide broadband internet deployment under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD).

According to the NTIA’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), distribution of this money will be “primarily based on the relative number of ‘unserved’ locations (i.e. broadband-serviceable locations that lack access to Reliable Broadband Service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream and latency levels low enough to support real-time, interactive applications) in each State and Territory.”

On the surface, this sounds admirable but it’s the definition of Reliable Broadband Service with which we take exception. Here’s why.

Many local and regional Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) provide internet service to their customers via fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum.

Despite its name, unlicensed spectrum does not mean “illegal” or “unregulated” in the internet world. Instead, it refers to radio frequencies that are open to anyone for any use. It’s the basis of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, for example, and generates billions of dollars for the economy.

The NOFO states, however, that “locations served exclusively by satellite, services using entirely unlicensed spectrum, or a technology not specified by the Commission for purposes of the Broadband DATA Maps, do not meet the criteria for Reliable Broadband Service and so will be considered ‘unserved.'”

It’s our view that the NTIA’s definition of Reliable Broadband Service excludes ISPs who are already providing reliable and dependable internet access to so-called unserved rural and non-urban areas. As such, we believe the NTIA’s definition is unfair and inaccurate, and should be amended.

Here’s some of the reasons we disagree with the NTIA definition:


ISPs using fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum are already providing the best and most reliable services to rural and non-urban areas. With fair access to available funding, they can expand this essential work.
Small broadband service providers generate vital jobs and drive sorely-needed economic growth in rural communities.
Small and medium-sized operators don’t have the resources to bid for licensed spectrum against large providers.
During the pandemic, essential services such as nursing homes, police services, and more were able to operate without interruption in rural and non-urban communities thanks to a dependence on reliable, fixed wireless internet access over entirely unlicensed spectrum.
Fixed wireless broadband entirely over unlicensed spectrum in the 57-71 GHz band can provide fiber-like download and upload speeds that exceed 1 Gbps. Fixed wireless entirely over unlicensed spectrum in other unlicensed use bands is often just as, or more, reliable than DSL or cable in the areas targeted by this funding, though this is not accounted for in the NOFO.

“We are surprised and disappointed at the definition of Reliable Broadband Service provided by the NTIA,” said Gerrit Nagelhout, CEO of Aterlo Networks, the company behind Preseem. “Local and regional ISPs have been providing reliable fixed wireless internet access for many years prior to the formation of WISPA in 2004, and rural communities across the US continue to benefit greatly from their services. The data we collect at Preseem proves that ISPs using fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum provide consistently reliable service, as measured in low latency, customer satisfaction, and reduced churn rates, among other factors.”

“No definition of ‘Reliable Broadband Service’ can be complete without actually including reliable broadband service providers, and we trust NTIA will hear this,” said David Zumwalt, President and CEO of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) – Broadband Without Boundaries. “WISPs provide dependable, resilient, reliable broadband to millions of Americans across the country, and have long served and excelled on the front lines of bringing broadband to unserved areas – going where other service providers simply can’t or won’t – enabling their customers to build and expand the reach of their businesses, keep their families connected, and make their lives better. NTIA should clarify its guidance so that the objectives of the BEAD program can be truly achieved, and States provided with the flexibility they need to bring broadband to the unserved.”

While we at Preseem agree with the spirit of the BEAD program–that all Americans have the basic right to reliable broadband internet–we believe that this funding should also be available to those companies who’ve already been tirelessly serving their communities for decades.

At Preseem, we handle data, and the data doesn’t lie. According to our numbers, local and regional ISPs using our product are already delivering reliable, low-latency service that improves the subscriber quality of experience in ‘unserved’ areas. That’s why we stand with WISPA and urge the NTIA to amend their definition of Reliable Broadband Service to include those providing essential internet access via fixed wireless over unlicensed spectrum.

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