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Avoiding identity theft with better verification, incident response

Jun 10, 2013 Dave King

Avoiding identity theft with better verification, incident response

In recent years, identity theft has become one of the most wide reaching issues in the United States and abroad. Though once a crime that seemed to threaten individuals more than enterprises, identity thieves have started to target companies, especially smaller ones, in greater numbers than ever before, illustrating the importance of thorough security standards.

In today's highly digital enterprise landscape, companies need to ensure that they are taking all of the necessary precautions to protect corporate data, especially information that contains bank account numbers. On top of digital information security, corporate executives should also ensure that they are using the most advanced methods of document retention, as physical paperwork can pose a threat as well.

ID verification is the final step to avoid identity theft, while businesses need to be the first line of defense against these crimes. Not only can losing a consumer's personal information lead to massive losses, allowing a thief to use a fake identity to make purchases can also harm reputations among current and prospective clientele.

Law enforcement mobilizing


KTHV-TV, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based CBS affiliate, recently reported that local law enforcement has increased its efforts to become more educated in identity theft prevention methods, as well as the best practices of quickly resolving issues. According to the news provider, law enforcement officials in the Little Rock area have teamed with federal agencies and one company that specializes in identity theft prevention to begin a more coordinated assault on these criminals.

While prevention is a major component of the initiative, officials hope to hone in on skills that will help police officers more quickly find identity thieves and bring them to justice. Some of the most devastating instances of identity theft are those that go on for years unsolved and unnoticed, illustrating the importance of swift and aggressive intervention.

This recent decision by the local law enforcement agency is one of many that have surfaced in recent years, as the federal government, as well as state and local municipalities, have become more focused on decreasing the damages associated with identity theft. Business owners need to continue to be vigilant with ID verification protocols to deter the crime.

Incident response crucial
The Brownsville Herald recently reported that one Texas woman avoided a nightmare by quickly reporting suspicious activity on one of her accounts. The source explained that two suspected identity thieves tried to use the woman's personal information after stealing her purse, which was filled with credit card account numbers and other financial documents.

According to the news provider, the woman immediately canceled her debit card accounts when she realized that thieves were trying to set up an online shopping profile with the information. As a result, the woman avoided a variety of issues, and may have even been critical in helping police officers track down the suspects.

The Brownsville Herald noted that the two suspected criminals were arrested only one week after the the theft at the store in which they were trying to set up a fraudulent account.

"If it wasn't for that, I'm sure these individuals probably would have been able to open an account," J.J.Treviño, the department's spokesman, told the source. "Everyone should be aware of what they are doing with their identity nowadays. It's so easy because of the internet, but just like anything else, you need to be aware of what you have and what you have is kept safe."

Businesses should take a lesson from the incidents and always ensure that they keep ID verification policies relevant in accordance with the modern threats, and have measures in place to respond to issues as quickly as possible.