Identity Theft On the Rise

You are the number one target for identity theft as a business owner!

When sales people ask you to provide personal information to open accounts, like a card processing account, you provide your tax ID number, date of birth, and trade references. That’s all the information needed to sell on the dark web for thousands of dollars.  If a dishonest sales person can earn a substantial amount of money selling your identification with no way to track it back to them, they will not hesitate to do so.

According to USA Today, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. In 2016, USA Today reported about the rise in identity theft.

Despite years of battling by the financial industry and a massive change in the way Americans use debit and credit cards, the rate of identity theft soared during 2016, a new report has found. In fact, it hit an all-time high. An estimated 15.4 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, up from 13.1 million the year before.

The report begins ominously: “2016 will be remembered as a banner year for fraudsters, as numerous measures of identity fraud reached new heights.” Fraud losses totaled $16 billion, the report found. About 1 in every 16 U.S. adults were victims of ID theft last year (6.15%) — and the incidence rate jumped some 16% year over year. This despite 2016 being the first full year that brick-and-mortar retailers were forced to accept more secure EMV chip cards or face liability consequences.

Be safe and never fill out or provide personal information on a paper application; only use truncated and password protected applications. Never provide your information without first independently verifying that the salesperson or company you are providing your personal information to is legitimate and has a DSS Level One security rating.

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