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Stop Burying your Head in the Sand and Start Fighting ID Fraud with Automatic Verification!

Jimmy Aitchison

Every day in the business world, organizations strive to be the best. They work to identify the Who's Who in their industry, understand how their competitors achieve success, and then strive to find ways to gain similar results by doing it better, faster, and cheaper.

ID Fraud

However, in the business of fighting fraud and - specifically, ID Fraud, - why does there seem to always be a demand for justification for firms to take action? While in the midst of increasing levels of government intervention (in the form of regulatory pressure), increasing losses in the billions of dollars annually, and (what shouldn't be a mere afterthought for any business leader) a widening sense of customer dissatisfaction as a result of being victimized by identity theft, why shouldn't "thought leading" firms take the initiative and move to stamp-out identity fraud as part of a discernible strategy to differentiate from the competition?

If you are ready to walk away from the Ostriches, then take a look at the facts and examine seven reasons why you should be asking an even more important question than "Who's Who" in your field, but rather, should be asking "Who is Who among my customers"?

1. There are more incidences of identity theft than car crashes in the U.S. each year. In 2010, more than 10 million Americans will lose their privacy, time, hard-earned money and good credit ratings to ID fraud. The financial loss to U.S. businesses shouldering the responsibility for the unpaid bills racked up by identity thieves is even greater than that of the individual victim - at a price tag of nearly $48 Billion annually. The good news - though ID Fraud itself isn't entirely preventable, stopping the thief from using the stolen identity is preventable with the right tools and procedures in place!

2. Identity Theft Isn't Just Personal, It's Business as Usual. ID cards are stolen for illegal purposes that affect every industry. Not only retailers are impacted - any company that runs a background check on its new hires can be scammed with a fake ID. Workers who are undocumented, unqualified or with criminal records can find their way into new careers with a false identity, gaining full access to sensitive and proprietary information. In many cases, all they need is a fabricated driver's license and a stolen social security number, which means stronger verification of ID practices are a must for today's businesses.

3. ID Fraud Hurts from the Top Down. Accessing a personal account, damaging an existing credit line, creating new financial accounts, vehicle rentals, in-store credit, and personal bank loans are only a few examples of how stolen identity cards can benefit a thief and harm an individual and business with long-term consequences. Companies that extend these credit lines and loans can learn to prevent the harmful cost to their businesses and customers by better educating and equipping their employees on the front line with the proper tools to automatically verify the authenticity of IDs in the very first encounter with an identity thief.

4. Identity Theft Bolsters the Drug Trade. Presenting stolen ID cards is the favored method of illegal drug manufacturers to obtain access to over-the-counter prescription drugs used to produce Methamphetamine. Though pharmacies are required to authenticate identity before dispensing these drugs, and face steep penalties for failure to comply with this regulation, both the medical industry and our communities suffer when pharmacies fail to identify these criminals. Pharmacies, like any business, may make a good faith effort to require identification, but when employees are stressed, rushed, or unaware of the tricks criminals use, they make human errors identity thieves will profit from. One solution - remove "human error" from the equation!

5. Mortgage Fraud - Easy to Prevent; Hard to Clean Up. It's estimated that mortgage fraud costs Americans upwards of $4.2 billion annually. In the case of mortgage fraud, the closing agent typically relies on a driver license to verify the identity of the buyer or seller signing the many forms required. Unfortunately for all the other parties involved, a forged mortgage is void. Correct and swift verification of identity from the very start can stop mortgage fraud in its tracks.

6. Underage alcohol use is more likely to kill young people than all other illegal drugs combined. Each year, over 12 million underage youth consume 15% of the alcohol sold in the United States. Stolen and/or fake identity is commonly used by underage drinkers to purchase alcoholic beverages. Underage sales expose the retailer to steep penalties - and our communities to the consequences of underage drinking. Identification verification with the use of a proven technology, and a record of that verification by the sales clerk, will both stop the illegal sale and provide evidence in the case of false charges against a store accused of selling to minors.

7. ID Fraud - It's Getting Harder to Detect and Easier to Achieve. Current technology makes it easier than ever to fabricate false identification cards. Aside from better quality equipment and software, there are step-by-step instructions, templates, and instructional videos available on the Internet for fabricating realistic-looking "government" documents. Fortunately, as the technology to commit identity theft evolves, so too do the tools and strategies of fraud prevention professionals intent on preventing them!

ID Card Fraud isn't a new crime, and it won't be deterred on its own. Given the sophistication of today's criminals, simply asking for identification, looking for discoloration or obvious flaws with the naked eye, and comparing the presenter's image to the photograph are not enough. These days, ID validity must be scrutinized more carefully by examining for the seals, logos and patterns that should be present, identifying patterns that shouldn't be present and spotting tampering with the document's laminate itself.

The bottom line is that it is time to prevent ID Fraud by automatically authenticating driver's licenses and ID cards. As stated by Jim Smith, Senior Vice President for UVeritech, "any argument for not employing leading ID verification solutions is considered a non-starter as the necessity of authentication has far surpassed a short list and has become the basis for everything that needs to take place in many operations".

While the challenge to prevent ID Fraud is intensifying, there is good news.
If your company uses identification cards in any aspect of your business, comply with federal regulations and empower your transaction-level employees with affordable tools that fight fraudulent activity for you! Automatically authenticate new hire with an instant ID Look Up for customer ID cards in a matter of seconds with Fraud Fighter's proprietary B5000 Document Authenticator.

Everyone has been reluctant at times due to not having a workable solution. How is your company putting their head in the sand?
Share your thoughts and comments!


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