Encourage your customers to check for identity fraud

New research shows that a significant proportion of personal information held by organisations could be incorrect as a result of identity fraud.

For consumers this is a significant worry as it means that they could be victim to identity theft and as a result their credit score could be damaged.  Consequently it is important that businesses encourage their customers to check the information that is held on them.

For businesses fraudulent data is also a concern as not only might they be missing out on potential revenue by declining the applications of legitimate customers, but they could also be facilitating fraudsters by providing lines of credit to bogus customers, inadvertently helping these unscrupulous criminals.

The study shows that around 10 million British adults have found data errors in the information held by banks, insurers, retailers, utilities etc . But the real number could be far higher because so few people check the records kept on them. The research reveals that errors regularly creep into the system in large due to human error such as a misspelled address or name. However, fraudulent activity was found to be second most common reason for error.

Our own research shows that organisations such as those mentioned above are regularly targeted by fraudsters specialising in deceased identity fraud, securing goods and services using the personal information of someone that has passed away. This type of fraud typically takes much longer to detect and is considered an easy crime to commit with potentially large gains to be made.  In response to this growing problem we offer Halo, a data file that quickly and easily identifies suspicious activity from an individual who is known to be deceased. 

Despite fraud prevention solutions such as Halo, given the findings of the research and the fact that new data protection laws soon come into force, now is a good time for organisations to help consumers protect themselves against identity fraud by educating them about the benefits of checking the data that organisations hold on them.