Identity theft can happen to anyone. When a person’s identity is stolen, they can be left with feelings of helplessness and a lack of control. The financial losses and emotional stressors of a stolen identity can be crippling. The problem isn’t going away—15.4 million consumers lost $16 billion to identity fraud in 2016.
Today, there is a great deal of personally identifiable information available to fraudsters. The recent breach was the latest in a line of data breaches adding to the vast amount of consumer information already compromised over the past several years. With the large numbers of valid social security numbers, names, and addresses available on the dark web, identity theft and fraud attacks are on the rise and becoming more difficult to detect.
Considering how much valuable data could be in the wrong hands, there’s no better time, or reason, to change our personal habits and business processes to help protect against identity theft.
Businesses and consumers need to take a comprehensive approach to fraud reduction and detection.
Businesses can use advanced analytics to look for subtle signs of misuse. For example, fraudsters might change only one piece of information, like a phone number, to fraudulently open an account or gain and maintain control of a consumer’s existing account. In practice, of course, the analysis is far more complex. Our ID Score® service was designed to detect just this kind of problem, looking at the consumer’s identity history to identify this type of abuse.
Consumers can take proactive measures such as enrolling in identity theft protection services, monitoring their accounts, checking their credit reports, protecting their passwords and being cautious when sharing personal information. These steps can help consumers identify potential ID theft quickly.
We now live in a time when personal information is potentially vulnerable to fraudsters—whether posted by consumers themselves on social media or stolen during a data breach. The ID Analytics clients using our ID Score® service are already well-equipped with a tool that helps identify fraudsters. You may see a slight increase in your fraud review queue if the stolen identities are put into circulation.
If you aren’t already using ID Score as part of your fraud reduction efforts, please reach out to your account manager to learn more. Our goal is to partner with you to minimize negative impacts to your business.
Scott Carter is the Chief Executive Officer of ID Analytics, LLC
 2017 Identity Fraud Study, Javelin Strategy & Research