Jun 10, 2013 Dave King
Identity theft continues to be one of the most disruptive and common crimes in the United States and abroad, as roughly 20 percent of the more than 2 million complaints fielded by the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 were to identity crimes. As regulators and law enforcement officials rush to combat the crime, businesses need to create effective ID verification protocols to be the first line of defense.
Though the digital age has created a much more complex issue, identity thieves continue to use traditional methods of stealing personal and corporate information. The Mail Tribune recently reported that law enforcement officials in Texas have uncovered a massive identity theft ring that included 15 to 20 suspects and hundreds of victims.
According to the news provider, the suspects allegedly stole thousands of pieces of mail from 800 Jackson County, Texas, residents. Victims who incurred the highest losses experienced thousands of dollars in stolen funds, while representatives from the Jackson County Police Department noted that the number of individuals effected continues to rise.
The source explained that local law enforcement professionals expect to try the ring leaders with felony charges, some of which might go to federal courts. The Mail Tribune added that the thieves used fairly typical tactics to steal the money following the acquisition of information, including setting up fake loan and credit card accounts.
This case, as well as many other devastating instances of identity theft, is believed to have been conducted over the course of a year.
The Identity Theft Protection Association recommends businesses create and enforce stringent data security protocols and maintain strict oversight of all accounts payable and receivable activity to defend against identity theft. ID verification standards should also be stringent, and businesses should train employees in the best practices of confirming a patron's identity before finalizing purchases.