‘Tis the Season for Identity Fraud

Happy holidays! This season, spend time with loved ones, be merry and check your financial statements regularly. Many fraud prevention companies will be looking at identity fraud with a new lens this upcoming year. With the introduction of chip and pin cards, it will be harder for fraudulent in-person purchases to be made. However, it is estimated that there will be much more online identity theft.

From 2009 to 2013, Europe saw a 40% increase in online fraud, and a 4% increase in overall fraud. On top of the threat of online identity fraud, another problem with chip and pin cards is that they take longer to use in person. When you insert the card, you must wait the full time it takes to process the payment, as opposed to swiping the card. Because of this, it is believed that more people will be using wireless NFC (near-field communication) payments with their phones. Mobile payments have come under intense scrutiny lately for the easy ability to commit fraud through mobile devices. Setting aside many other issues with wireless mobile payments, accounts can also be created with stolen information and cannot be verified as easily.

So this season, be wary of your accounts and financial records. Be diligent and report any strange transactions as soon as possible. If you feel you’ve had your identity stolen, cancel all of your cards and order new ones. Change your passwords. Alert the authorities. Be safe! And that will make this season all the merrier.