News & Resources

New accounts at biggest risk for fraud

Feb 16, 2011 Brian Bradley

Fraud can occur at any level - via a credit card, a stolen Social Security Number, even by smartphone - but several fraud reports show new accounts pose the greatest risk. Identity fraud committed through new accounts is difficult to detect and continues to rise, with periods of credit misuse going unnoticed for longer periods of time and contributing to greater monetary losses. Wells Fargo has tips for how small business owners can protect themselves and their customers. It's important to keep the anti-virus software on any computer operating, keep POS systems up-to-date and change passwords on those machines often. The number of mobile payment applications options is on the rise, and so too are opportunities for fraud. The bank advises people to only use official applications from trusted sources. Business owners should also review credit reports annually to track any unexpected changes to their credit scores. Making the switch from paper statements to online billing can help avoid fraudsters stealing personal information from mail. A recent Javelin study, the same report in which Wells Fargo made the recommendations, found incidents of fraud had decreased but subsequent costs to consumers had increased exponentially.