Virtual safety deposit box helps Aussies overseas

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Virtual safety deposit box helps Aussies overseas

An Australian company has launched a "virtual safety deposit vault" and security service aimed at protecting travellers from identity theft and fraud.

EKKO Guardian stores electronic copies of critical data, such as passports, visas, credit cards and travel documents for any traveller.

The service includes travel insurance and covers the cost of fraudulent activity. It also contests and corrects payment records, and pays for legal expenses in the event of identity theft.

According to EKKO Guardian, a 24/7 helpline can re-issue lost or stolen credit cards, and place temporary bars on lost or stolen cell phones.

Furthermore, if a member’s credit cards are stolen and they have no access to cash, EKKO Guardian can arrange temporary card and emergency cash, and book airline tickets home from anywhere in the world.

Robbie Thomson, EKKO Guardian GM, said that fraud and identity theft are becoming more common around the world.

“With the steady rise of e–crime, particularly in countries in Asia, it’s vital for Australians to ensure they’ve got a safe and secure way to protect their most important personal effects, documents and information.”

“It’s important to be vigilant with personal security at home as well as abroad. This is not just a convenience service; it provides comprehensive personal protection. In the cases of fraud and ID theft, the speed of response can reduce the risk of this happening,” said Thomson.

Users can upload scanned documents via the company’s website.

A study by the Privacy Commissioner found that one in 10 Australians claim to have been victims of identity theft. Concerns about privacy are also prevalent in the community: the Unisys Security Index for December 2007 found that the primary security concern for Australians is unauthorised access to personal information. This ranked above concerns about national security, war and terrorism
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