The internet is a wonderful thing. It has connected individuals and businesses across the planet, transformed how we read, listen to music, share information and read the news, and even made paying online for goods and services around the world a reality. However, it’s also given people with less than ethical intentions the perfect means to be completely anonymous, and made them harder than ever to track and find. This means that while real-world fraud is down, cybercrime, particularly fraud, has gone through the roof. Here’s what you need to know about it and how due diligence checking can help.
Online Fraud Facts
Perhaps the most difficult thing to prevent about online fraud is that fraudsters are no longer attempting to pass themselves off as a fictional person (which has become exponentially harder.) Instead, they’ve turned to what is known as “identity takeover” which is a type of fraud where criminals simply assume the personality of a real person, and apply for credit in their name.
Goods and services are purchased on credit, but they are delivered to someone very different from the person whose name is on the credit agreement, and of course, that results in disputed charges.
This is not a small problem, either. In fact, this type of online fraud now accounts for up to 50% of fraud cases against banks, while real world, in-branch fraud cases have fallen to just 23%. In other words, there are more than double the cases of online fraud, identity theft and other cybercrimes related to credit granting than there are traditional cases.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows and more opportunities arise for hackers to take advantage of less secure platforms to gain user information, there’s likely to be an increase in the volume of this type of cybercrime.
Preventing Identity Takeover
If your company extends credit, enters into contracts online, or transacts electronically in any way, then you need to have a clear and comprehensive strategy for due diligence checking, to confirm that the person you are transacting with are who they say they are.
Due diligence services for this type of situation are geared towards confirming that you are dealing with the person whose name is on the application, to ensure that a) they have the right to electronically sign the contract or agreement, and b) that the contract will be legally binding.
Of course, if these types of due diligence services are not carried out, and fraudsters do manage to slip through the net, there’s no way to hold the actual person liable when the decide to dispute the charges, and you are likely to be left out of pocket. Worse still, if you haven’t actively made a concerted attempt to verify who you’re extending credit to, business insurance policies probably won’t cover you for any losses either.
Know Who You Are Dealing With
It’s scary to think that right now, there are thousands of people out there actively applying for credit in someone else’s name, but that’s exactly what is happening. So whether you have online credit or contract applications now or in future, think twice, and make sure that you conduct due diligence checking to know exactly who you are dealing with, and that they are who they say they are.