Which banks best protect you from identity theft?


Here’s some good news for Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Washington Mutual:

Looking for a bank that protects well against identity theft? Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Washington Mutual are your best bets, according to a new report. Out of 24 of the top financial institutions in the U.S., these three banks scored best in a test of their ability to prevent, detect and resolve ID theft, Javelin Strategy & Research said in its annual Banking Identity Safety Scorecard, which is slated to be released Tuesday. KeyBank and Marshall & Ilsley Bank also receive honorable mentions in the report.

I can’t say I think too much of the methodology quoted in this news article — it sounds like (from the article alone) they focused on feature checklists and informal testing. I’d be interested to see this report backed up by data from the victims of identity theft, rating their experiences with their financial institutions after reported a problem. But this is a great start, and given how disruptive an identity theft case can be, these banks should be praised if they handle identity theft cases well.

Anyone have experiences dealing with identity theft at these or other banks? How did they rate for you?

2 Responses to “Which banks best protect you from identity theft?”

  1. debbie p Says:

    Six years ago, I received a bill from Sprint for a cell phone. Sounds innocuous enough, except that I didn’t own a cell phone. Next came an invoice from Dell for the laptop I didn’t order, and finally, my American Express statement had a $400 charge for cashing one of those instant checks that come in the mail.

    Overall, I give AmEx very high marks for resolution. After the first call, I was issued a credit for the $400 while they investigated the claim. There was a bit of back and forth, but everyone I spoke to was exceedingly courteous.

    In regards to “prevention and detection,� AmEx didn’t fare as well. On the same day the check was cashed in CA, I had multiple charges in Nebraska, where I was home for the holidays. That pattern would probably set off some bells today, but didn’t at the time.

    None of the companies I spoke with (Sprint, Dell, AmEx) were interested in my police report or actually finding the person who did this. Basically, they said, they expect a certain amount of fraud as part of the “cost of doing business.� A cost, I’m sure, that is passed on to customers. I know they must have a formula showing that the increase in business they get from making credit with their company incredibly easy to get outweighs the resulting increase in fraud. Does this formula also take into account the tremendous pain that fraud causes consumers? I seriously doubt it.

  2. Marc Hedlund Says:

    Thanks much for the comment, Debbie. I’m glad to hear Amex was receptive on the phone. Sometimes when I’ve dealt with fraud issues, such as when some checks were stolen from my mail and used, the bank has been quite accusatory and hostile.

    Sounds like a terrible experience regardless!

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