5 Identity Theft Focus Areas

There are in general 5 identity theft focus areas in the workplace that we must concentrate on to detect identity theft and prevent identity fraud. At a time when personal data breach incidents and identity theft are at an all time high, it’s very important for businesses to focus in on the areas where identity theft can be detected in order to prevent identity fraud on a timely basis.

As mentioned, personal information of customers and employees are stolen and lost at record volumes and as security experts do all that they can do to protect company information assets, we have to keep in mind that personal data will continue to be lost, stolen and used to commit fraud. One of the main consequences of data breach incidents is the occurrence of identity fraud. Regardless of where or how consumer information is obtained, we have to think about a second layer of information protection around the following 5 identity theft focus areas:

1.     Identification documents - identification documents presented by new and existing customers might provide clues indicating signs of identity theft such as:

a.  they appear to be forged or altered,

b.  the photograph doesn't match the customer,

c.  customer can not readily substantiate the ID information, and

d.  ID information is associated with fraudulent applications on file.

2.     Personal information - personal information presented by customers may be:

a.  inconsistent,

b.  invalid,

c.  associated with fraud related information,

d.  duplicate, or

e.  incomplete

3.     Account activities – Monitoring account activities is one of the major part of the 5 identity theft focus areas to detect fraud for existing accounts. Some account activities which may indicate identity theft include:

a.  known patterns of fraud,

b.  major transaction soon after a change of address,

c.  inconsistent use of the account,

d.  use of inactive accounts, and

e.  undeliverable mail.

4.     Consumer report information - consumer reports such as credit reports often include alerts and information which might indicate potential signs of identity theft. Such information might include:

a.  excessive consumer report inquiries by other businesses,

b.  a bunch of new accounts recently established,

c.  fraud alerts and freezes,

d.  address discrepancy,

e.  unusual account activities, and

f.  accounts closed due to fraud.

5.      Alerts or notices - received from customers, law enforcement, and other persons or sources  - such information include:

a.  customer notification that unknown transactions exist,

b.  major alerts from government agencies regarding national trends, and

c.  news articles about recent identity theft events.

Become a Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS) and expert in the 5 identity theft focus areas.