Jul 25, 2013 Dave King
Federal regulators and law enforcement officials from across the nation continue to increase efforts to deter identity theft schemes, as the crimes account for hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for businesses and consumers every year. While the best practices of ID verification and data security continue to evolve rapidly in light of advancing threats, enterprises need to first implement simple structures to avoid becoming victims of the crime.
Several studies have shown that the vast majority of data breaches that lead to identity theft in businesses could have been avoided had simple security protocols, such as firewalls and employee training, been implemented. Enterprises should focus on building customized and effective strategies, then clearly communicating the various components to employees in real time.
Law enforcement steps up in Connecticut
The Greenwich Time recently reported that the Chamber of Commerce, Police Department and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force are forming a coalition to educate consumers and businesses in the best practices of ID verification. The first project will include a free forum and presentation titled "Combating Identity Theft and Retail Fraud," which will be held at the end of July.
According to the source, the three entities have seen that identity theft is running rampant in Greenwich and the state of Connecticut over all, and believe that escalated law enforcement efforts coupled with extensive consumer and corporate education are the best ways to begin chipping away at the prevalence of the crime. Though federal and state officials are becoming more active in the fight against identity theft, many businesses are still lagging behind.
The news provider noted that companies should now fear identity theft more, as the crime has hit so many in the past few years.
"All types of businesses encounter these issues, and it seems to be ubiquitous at this point," Marcia O'Kane, the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce's executive director, told the Greenwich Time. "It's nice for the chamber to be able to partner with the GPD to get this important information out there."
The local police department also noted that retailers in the area need to take greater responsibility when it comes to ID verification.
"There are a couple ways a retailer can assist everybody in the community by being aware of current trends with counterfeit credit, ATM or gift cards, counterfeit currency, card skimming and other financial crimes," GPD lieutenant Kraig Gray explained, according to the news provider.
Other best practices to follow
The Eagle-Tribune recently explained some of the most effective ways in which consumers and businesses can avoid identity theft, asserting that several federal entities offer extensive recommendations which should be considered. For one, the source suggested keeping a close eye on incoming and outgoing mail, as identity thieves will steal the communications in efforts to obtain potentially damaging information.
The news provider noted that regular reviews of corporate or personal credit scores is one of the best ways to identify identity theft events early on, while following safe Internet practices will further minimize the risk.