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What if there were a way to reduce fraud losses, reassure wary users, and help fraud victims get their financial life back in order, all at little or no out-of-pocket cost? It does sound too good to be true, but look what San Francisco start-up CyberScout, LLC offers:
- Up-to-date, professionally written articles on various fraud-fighting topics
- Fraud prevention tools such as credit report monitoring, locking mailboxes, and virus protection software
- Victim assistance center staffed by former bank fraud service reps
- Modern security "look and feel"
We've been talking with the principals at CyberScout, LLC for the past few months. The 10-person company, founded just six months ago (May 2003), is in high growth mode. It currently has six associates dealing with customers, and plans to triple the staff by January. The Bay Area company taps a deep pool of experienced bank fraud specialists, many of whom have been displaced as major San Francisco financial institutions have moved fraud service centers to lower-cost areas.
With so many shady firms pitching questionable credit repair services over the Web, we feel fortunate to have come across a company truly trying to make a difference in fighting this crime. Through their close relationship with TransUnion and TU's credit monitoring subsidiary TrueCredit (see OBR 83/84), CyberScout has developed tools and services to help victims repair damage from an identity takeover. The company is also involved in user education and service offerings to help users protect themselves from the crime.
Currently, its services are delivered primarily through large employee-assistance programs (EAP) at major U.S. corporations. Typically, large companies contract with an EAP provider to handle employee identity theft questions and resolution for a fixed per-incident fee. CyberScout recently won a contract to handle victim resolution for AIG's new Identity Theft Insurance plan. The company also markets directly to consumers through its website, and through co-founder Adam Levin's other company, Credit.com, offering a variety of prevention services and products, along with its core victim resolution service priced at $300 to $500, depending on the complexity.
Financial Institution Opportunities
The company, looking to expand its reach and impact, is willing to partner with financial institutions to develop a wide range of fraud protection and resolution services. Potential offerings range from educational articles running on the bank website to full-scale, fee-based resolution services that could be private-branded for the bank.
Financial institutions could potentially outsource their entire identity theft educational content and services to the company. A private or co-branded ID Theft Center could run on the bank's server, with the content updated periodically by CyberScout. Another option is to provide identity theft insurance as a promotional giveaway.
Why work with CyberScout?
- Better customer satisfaction
- Improved customer retention
- Differentiation in the marketplace
- Reduced fraud losses
- Improved employee satisfaction, knowing that professionals can handle tricky victim resolution and police reporting
- Fee income/profits from preventions products and services
- Makes entire website more credible and trustworthy
- One more service provider to manage and run due diligence on
- Less control over dialogue with the customer
- Out-of-pocket costs
4150 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
CyberScout provides one-on-one counseling, strategies, and resources to victims and potential targets of identity theft. Combining a personal focus with a comprehensive nationwide resource network, the company helps individuals, enterprises, financial institutions and other credit providers, colleges and universities, and law enforcement to deal with the devastating effects of this crime.
CyberScout gives victims what they need most: personal, expert guidance through the complex process of resolving their crisis. The company, independently or through its strategic partners, also helps potential targets to identify vulnerabilities and secure their defenses with a suite of products and services that includes credit monitoring, identity fraud insurance, secure mailboxes, cybersecurity solutions, and its Identity Lock™ Defense Package. Its website, www.identitytheft911.com, provides the latest information on this complex topic, from new legislation to fraud alerts and breaking news. Online Banking Report recently named CyberScout as one of "the 10 most significant innovations and developments of 2003," including CyberScout on its list of "10 industry developments that provide the best glimpse at the future of online financial services delivery."