Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Insider Identity Theft


There is no doubt (Identity Theft) can stem from employee theft of information. In this story, it is alleged that a banker in Philadelphia used fake identities to commit about $6.7 million in fraud. It has been well documented that fraud gangs plant people in organizations to facilitate fraud and steal identities. In this instance, it proves that even people in the higher echelon, can and will commit fraud.

What amazes me, is that according to the article, the bank has only taken civil action, thus far.

Here are some recommended practices to ensure your identity is protected at a bank.

Individual banks maintain various safeguards against identity theft. Here are some points to consider:

Does the bank have a procedure in place for verifying signatures?

Are bank employees subject to a background check?

What kind of identity verification is required when applying for a loan?

Does the online banking system provide encryption, firewalls, timed log off, virus protection, and a secure log-in process?


Centralize. Keep credit cards, mortgages and bank accounts in one place.

Ask your bank or credit organization about its policy for selling customer data.

Request your information not be sold to brokers.

Reconcile bank statements, credit card statements and other accounts monthly.

Check your credit report at least once a year. Contact one of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax - (800) 525-6285 or http://www.equifax.com/
TransUnion - (800) 680-7289 or http://www.transunion.com/
Experian - (888) 397-3742 or http://www.experian.com/

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