Unlike the more traditional forms of theft such as auto theft and burglary, where someone with a new high-end sports car or someone with the nicest house in the neighborhood may be the targeted victim; identity theft has no particular targets. Since everyone is a target for identity theft, we as consumers and the companies we chose to do business with (retailers, merchants, banks, etc), all need to do our part and protect ourselves and our customers from identity theft. Once there is a data breach at a major retailer, identity theft can occur and businesses are left with the task of trying to prevent those stolen identities from being used fraudulently to possibly gain access to accounts or even open new accounts.
Identity fraud is on the rise, not only in the US, but also in Europe. According to a recent article by Financial Times, Brits are at the most risk for identity fraud followed closely by Spain, then Russia. The article goes on to mention that identity theft has affected a quarter of the population in the UK. An individual impersonating someone they arent, to either obtain credit or purchase goods and/or services, accounts for 50% of all fraud crime in the UK.The same article goes on to mention that individuals in UK use multiple computers be it for online shopping or socializing with friends and also fail to log out of banking website and social networks they accessed from their mobile device which makes it very easy for an identity thieve to gain access to everything they would need to perform the fraudulent activity. The article also mentions that it takes an average of seven months before many Brits even realize their identity was fraudulently used.
With making use of IdentiFraud International, businesses across the pond can know in a matter of seconds who they are doing business with and protect both themselves as well as their customers.
[Contributed by Eric Knapp, VP of Client Services]