The ways in which a criminal can obtain a consumer's personal information are plentiful. Understanding the avenues criminals and hackers use to steal information can help you spot suspicious activity.
A short-term financial agency may accept applicants in various, via online, in person or over the phone, but whichever strategy they choose to apply, they will most likely need a social security number, name, address and birthdate to successfully apply for a loan. If all their documents have been approved based on your application guidelines, it doesn't mean they are scot-free. You should send a follow up letter to the address, perhaps indicating a confirmation of interaction with the client and thanking them for their business. In addition, check the history of the information provided by the client – if the supposed client has recently changed the address linked to their name, it may be a sign a hacker has changed the address purposefully so that forwarding mail will go to the new address. According to a report by the International Business Times, Zappos, an Amazon-owned company, was recently hacked and 24 million customers' personal information was obtained by criminals. During such an identity theft disaster, a company should take immediate action to inform its clients. In this case, Zappos informed its clients to immediately change their login and password details on the site to reduce the risk of further theft. However, it cannot be told how much information the criminals got a hold of before Zappos disclosed the issue. "We were recently the victim of a cyber attack by a criminal who gained access to parts of our internal network and systems through one of our servers in Kentucky," CEO Tony Hsieh said in a statement. "We've spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It's painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident. I suppose the one saving grace is that the database that stores our customers' critical credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed." Threats to IT security concern every financial leader, but noticing and investigating suspicious activity early on can reduce the fiscal effects of a breach.