Identity theft has become a major issue in recent years, as criminals continue to expand their methods of stealing personal and banking information. Businesses need to ensure they are following best practices and meeting compliance statutes to deter identity theft and other costly crimes from affecting their patrons and employees.
Consolidated Credit recently reported that more than 9 million U.S. citizens are victimized by identity theft crimes every year, and this number has increased significantly over the past 10 years. According to the firm, thieves are using everything from digitally stored banking information to disposed paper records with Social Security numbers to steal money from businesses and individuals. "Despite the government's effort to crack down on identity theft, this crime still damages the credit reports and finances of millions of people," Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org, explained in a statement. "Identity thieves are relying on technology and consumers need to be alert and protect themselves." Through adherence to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), following industry best practices and a commitment to deter negligence, businesses can avoid identity theft entirely.