News & Resources

BBB official offers ID verification advice

Sep 03, 2012 Dave King

It has become all too clear that identity theft is a menacing force, affecting millions of individuals each year and costing businesses billions of dollars on the whole. This illustrates the need for better ID verification practices on behalf of payment processors, businesses and financial institutions, as they are responsible for consumer security. Though reaching Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and remaining compliant will often help avoid an audit and subsequent compliance issues, this statute does not always guarantee the security of consumer information. By going the extra mile, merchants can ensure they maintain a reputable and reliable stature among their customers. Additionally, new reports indicate that awareness and detection of identity theft lags behind in certain demographics, which shows government agencies and merchant services firms need to step up efforts to educate certain groups. Early detection of identity theft can save consumers and businesses a lot of trouble, while no detection can lead to more costly issues. Young people among the most highly affected
The Omaha World-Herald recently published a letter from Jim Hegarty, the president of the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Nebraska and Iowa units. The BBB and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are the biggest proponents of proper ID verification among government agencies, and work to raise awareness of identity theft risks among the general population. According to Hegarty, young adults are often the slowest to realize they have been victimized by identity theft, leaving criminals plenty of time to take full advantage of stolen information. He believes that this risk can be greatly deterred by offering more information to individuals at a young age, along with other, more traditional safety lessons. Hegarty cites data from Javelin Strategy and Research, which revealed that 11.6 million adults in the United States were victimized by identity theft in 2011, accounting for more than $35 billion in losses. This also represented an increase of 13 percent from 2010. Tips from the BBB to deter identity theft
While businesses need to do a better job avoiding identity theft issues, Hegarty suggested that more awareness on behalf of the consumer could cut down on the total amount of money lost to fraud. The official recommends using more advanced, and constantly updated, security software on cellular devices and computers. Additionally, the BBB explains that young adults need to watch for signs of fraudulent forces, such as deals that are too good to be true, potential employers that cannot be found through normal channels and any entity asking for payment information online.