May 19, 2016
Have you heard that there’s a new identity fraud victim every two seconds?
The latest identity theft statistics by Javelin show that $16 billion was stolen from 12.7 million U.S. consumers in 2014.
Exactly what is identity theft?
It is the fraudulent acquisition and use of a person's private identifying information, usually for financial gain. Business identity theft involves the impersonation of the business itself.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft has been the number one type of complaint for 15 years in a row.
What are some of the most common methods of identity theft crimes today?
Impersonation crimes are when criminals pretend to be someone in authority. For example, the ‘IRS’ calls or emails to say you owe money and must pay immediately.
For fake tax returns, criminals file taxes using stolen identity and Social Security numbers. In 2014, there was a 120% increase in tax fraud victims; in 2015, a 134% increase.
New account fraud is when thieves open new charge accounts in someone’s name.
Medical identity theft is when confidential health records are stolen. The biggest health breach of all time occurred at the end of 2014 and may have affected up to 80 million health records.
Student and child identity theft is growing because the younger ‘digital’ generation tends to share personal information online.
Smash and grab crimes are the physical theft of confidential information (personal and business) in paper form or on a mobile device.
Here are guidelines for identity theft prevention in the home and office. It's all about awareness, safeguards, and sound information handling processes and habits.
Reduce the risk of workplace fraud by identifying a company's most vulnerable areas – and putting in the appropriate safeguards.