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Criminals using more elaborate methods to steal identities

Sep 06, 2013 Dave King

Criminals using more elaborate methods to steal identities

Consumers should be well aware of the actions that can lead to increased risk of identity theft - shopping online via unsecured websites, failing to check credit reports and many others. However, all the preventive methods in the world couldn't fully eliminate this crime, which is why financial institutions need to lend a hand.

For example, short term lenders should be sure ID verification procedures are extensive to ensure identity thieves aren't able to obtain a loan using a false name. Unfortunately, criminals are becoming more sophisticated, and have been using elaborate methods to get account information, which is making it increasingly difficult to stop identity theft.

"Our bad guys like money, as most people do, but they don't want to work for it," U.S. Postal Inspector Essialani Hollier-Jackson, told Fox 6 Milwaukee. "They are counterfeiting the checks, putting a new name on the checks with the same bank information. The account number is correct, which is what the bank is checking, and they have ID that matches the name on the check."

Identity theft can be an extremely damaging crime, especially if it leads to a drop in the victim's consumer credit score. Consumer law attorney Robert Brennan told that this type of crime hurts credit in both known and unknown ways. In fact, even after resolution, a person's credit rating may not fully recover from having financial information compromised.

However, those who have been victimized by an identity thief, and are struggling financially, have places to turn for help - one being short term lending operations. Consumers are able to secure finances to cover essential expenses while regaining their financial footing, which can prevent late payment fees and penalties that can add up.