Identity fraud during COVID-19

Posted by National Crime Check on 2021-03-11

Identity fraud is on the rise with more and more transactions taking place online due to the pandemic.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that cases almost doubled in 2020 compared to the year prior, recording 1.4 million reports of identity theft incidents in 2020 costing approximately $3.3 billion. Close to one third of these incidents were in relation to unemployment insurance benefits.

South Africa also saw a significant increase in identity theft and fraud incidents, with a whopping increase of 370%. While Australia has seen 55% growth in identity theft and fraud since the beginning of the pandemic, costing Australia over $3 billion.

Cybercriminals are undoubtedly becoming more savvy and attuned to the information commonly shared by people. In a time of uncertainty and increased online entry points, they are now more adept at finding ways to exploit these stolen identities.

This increase in identity fraud raises two issues for businesses:

  • Hiring and recruitment - it’s vital to ensure you are conducting thorough checks during the hiring and recruitment process to protect your workforce from candidates who are not who they say they are. Prospective candidates may provide falsified identity and employment documents to get hired for roles but identity verification and a tailored screening check will weed these candidates out of your pool.

    By conducting thorough screening and checks, you can help protect your existing employees from potential risky behaviour and also protect your business from other fraudulent activity that the candidate may conduct when provided access to your infrastructure. Minimise workforce risk and organisational risk in one go? It’s a no brainer.
  • Increased data security - data breaches and leaks have led many businesses to face severe consequences and detrimental effects, particularly in the banking, government, healthcare and retail sectors. Due to the increased capabilities and access to data that cybercriminals have developed, we encourage all businesses to conduct regular data security checks to increase their protections against data breaches.

Protect your business from identity theft by tightening up your processes. Contact a trusted identity verification provider for your hiring and recruitment processes, and ensure your data security is up to date.

National Crime Check is an experienced and trusted provider of screening and verification services. We conduct a range of background screening services, with a particular focus on criminal history checks and identity verification. Get in touch at support@instaid.plus if you’d like to discuss background screening and identity verification to protect your business.


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