According to APACS figures, 15 million people in the UK now use the Internet to access their bank accounts. To protect themselves, consumers must be vigilant and treat any unsolicited contact from a known or unknown organisation with caution, especially
when they are being asked to disclose personal data. A genuine organisation will not ask a customer to quote their full password over the telephone.
The financial services industry is also working hard to combat fraud. Chip and PIN has helped to reduce transactional fraud, where stolen cards are used to obtain funds or buy goods. However, this is not the only area of concern. Application fraud has been
prevalent over recent years, which means organisations must have stringent methods in place to verify the identity of individuals applying for new accounts. Using electronic authentication, organisations can verify the identity of account applicants remotely,
without the need to see paper-based proof of identity. Regular authentication of existing customer data is also necessary to flag suspicious activity that could indicate identity fraud or account takeover.
Other industry sectors must also play a role in protecting consumers. In the case of online retail, for example, identity checks can be performed as soon as the contact details for an order are submitted, again highlighting fraud risks or other warning signs
such as a bogus delivery address.
Consumers are now considerably more aware of the risks - and ease - of identity fraud than previously before. If we are to win the battle against identity fraud, it is important that organisations across all sectors have sufficient measures in place to ensure
they know their customers are who they say they are.