Fraud detection: whose responsibility is it anyway?

By providing powerful fraud detection tools, organisations can ensure they retain the trust of consumers in the digital age.

A friend of mine recently became a victim of identity theft. The first he knew about it was when he received a letter from an online clothing company, stating that his application for credit had been turned down. From that point on, he was besieged by emails and printed mail from various companies confirming the refusal of his applications for credit. So far, this was worrying but just about manageable – apart from the negative impact on his credit rating, of course, which he has been warned will nosedive.  But he was most concerned by what happened next: a ‘Welcome to your new account’ letter from the one company that gladly accepted the fraudster’s false ID – a well-known mobile phone network provider which, quite frankly, should have known better.  The fraudster was able to – with the help of some basic personal information he had gleaned online and a couple of hastily forged utility bills – open a mobile phone account in my friend’s name, quickly and easily.

90% of adults in the UK own a mobile phone, according to research from global technology company Pitney Bowes.  There are 91.5 million UK mobile subscriptions.  So prolific is UK mobile usage that the number of mobile phone numbers allocated in the UK has almost run out according to a report, predominately a result of our huge appetite for data. The larger our digital footprints and the more data we share via our physical devices, the more we are arming fraudsters with personal information to use illegally. And the more activity we carry out on our mobile devices – online shopping, mobile payments, online banking – the greater the financial impact on the victim of fraud.

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