Identity theft is a known risk in today’s economy. Unfortunately, this type of theft is increasingly prevalent due to rises in technology and the diversification of payment systems. Criminals now have more ways than ever to obtain personal data. The Internet makes it easier than ever for thieves to obtain identities of their victims behind the ambiguity of a computer screen. Just how common is identity theft? A total of $16 billion was stolen from consumers in 2016. Identity theft affected 15.4 million victims in the United States during that same year. Thieves have managed to steal more than $107 billion using identity theft within the past decade.
How Companies Can Safeguard Against Identity Theft
Enterprises that process transactions have a duty to be proactive when responding to the threat of identity theft. While consumers should take steps to reduce the odds of being victimized, the burden of stopping a fraudulent transaction rests on the shoulders of the enterprises handling the transactions. It is important for any enterprise that accepts or processes payments to have steps in place for eCommerce fraud prevention. This includes being able to flag, isolate and stop suspicious purchases. To do this, enterprises should employ a platform that can process all of the information that comes in and weigh it against norms in order to be able to identify suspicious markers when they appear. These types of platforms should be able to recognize anomalies and send a signal to the vendor that the person who is attempting to make a purchase is not who they claim to be. This commonly includes things like purchases being made in a different state, large purchases or a rapid pace of purchasing from online vendors. Enterprises must take steps to stop fraudulent transactions from going through in real time. Any enterprise using personal data needs to have systems in place to prevent identity theft.
Payment Fraud Is at the Heart of Identity Theft
Most identity fraud is performed in order to gain access to a person’s credit cards and bank accounts. Almost all cases of identity theft are motivated by a desire to make purchases in the name of another person. How far will thieves go once they’ve stolen a person’s identity? Thieves will routinely open credit cards using the names of their victims. They will then rack up large bills that are left unpaid.
Identity theft can create a long and complicated list of headaches for victims that can impact their life for many years to come. Victims can spend years cleaning up the mess and confusion that identity theft causes. Often times, a victim may not know that they have fallen victim to identity theft until they attempt to make a large life decision like applying for a mortgage, getting a car loan or trying to finance a new business endeavor. It can be difficult for victims to prove their innocence to lenders when they have a low credit score due to fraudulent activity. This is why it is more important than ever for businesses to have platforms in place to safeguard the data they receive from their customers.