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More identity theft threats continue to surface

Aug 14, 2013 Dave King

More identity theft threats continue to surface

Identity theft has been cited by many lawmakers as one of the biggest threats to economic recovery and financial health in the United States, as criminals steal hundreds of billions of dollars from consumers and businesses every year. Some estimates put the figure at $1 trillion in annual incurred losses from both indirect and direct avenues, while most studies indicate that the problem is intensifying.

For this reason and more, businesses need to ensure that all ID verification standards go above and beyond the call of duty, as being the source of an identity theft event can hurt brand image and lead to lost money.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued an alert to residents regarding a new threat that involves text messaging. According to CNY News, the scammer will send a text message to a potential victim's phone that will appear to be from a utility company, financial institution or even the cell phone service provider.

The message includes a link and a request for personal information. The source explained that once the recipient enters that information, the scammer will use it to steal their identity. This is yet another case of SMiShing, or text-based phishing, that is effecting residents of New York and other states.

Events like this one serve as a good opportunity to educate customers, managers and lower ranking employees to the dangers that abound. Stronger training practices can reduce the sting of such threats substantially. has recorded nearly 9 million instances of identity theft so far this year, while the average incurred losses for consumers is approximately $3,500. Businesses and consumers must practice exceptional ID verification behaviors to avoid becoming victims of this highly damaging crime.