The Survey Says… Identity Theft

A recent survey regarding identity theft, fraud and other financial crimes show what institutions are doing . . . now that we have heard from the “experts” let’s hear from our experts at home . . . what are you doing to protect yourself from identity theft?

A new survey conducted by risk and compliance specialist Fortent shows that identity theft presents “the greatest emerging threat” to financial institutions. Fortent surveyed anti-money laundering compliance officers in both North America and Europe and found that new types of payment methods including pre-paid cards, mobile banking and “virtual world” transactions are expected to be hot topics requiring regulatory interest.
In the midst of the banking crisis, housing market crisis and recession, banks and customers are already stressed and these new methods of payment offer convenient options but also more risk for identity theft, fraud and other financial crimes.
Ed Baum, Fortent’s Chief Marketing Officer explains that, “The expansion of payment platforms, while good for business, poses new risks on both the regulatory and security fronts. Our survey reveals that financial institutions are acutely aware that they must respond to these emerging threats.”
Baum adds that “Financial institutions are finalizing their budgets now for next year, and the question on everyone’s mind is how they are going to tackle these new threats when staff, technology, and training resources are already stretched.”
Key Finding of Fortent’s Survey About Financial Crime Threats include:
* Identity theft was cited most often (52%) as the greatest emerging threat.
* Virtual World, or on line payment systems was cited by 44% of respondents.
* Electronic checking was third with 40%.
* Employee fraud was cited by 32%.
* Store value or gift cards concerned 28%.
Retail banking continues to top the compliance officers’ list of money laundering concerns at 77%. Once respondent explained that branch personnel are under pressure “to open accounts in volume to meet their goals, but fail to conduct the proper due diligence required.”
The survey by Fortent also looked at threats by geographic regions. Eastern Europe, excluding Russia, leads the world in suspicious activity related to financial crimes. Russia, the Middle East/North Africa and then the rest of Africa followed as regions of great concern. While the United States may not have been on the top of this regional list, remember that every 19 seconds there is a new victim of identity theft in the U.S. For more information on identity theft concerns and reactions globally, read “Identity Theft Around the World.”
Who are these people?
The Surveyors:
Fortent is in the business of providing risk and compliance solutions to financial institutions, government agencies, and individuals in over than 100 countries including 26 of the world’s 30 largest financial institutions.
The Respondents:
Those surveyed included executives from 30 global, regional and national financial institutions including banks based in the United States as well as over seas. Survey respondents included SVP Regulatory Risk Management, AML Program Deputy Director, and Compliance Director and other positions of senior level compliance officers.
We’d like to do our own survey about what concerns consumers most in the areas of financial crimes.
What tops your list of concerns?
*Identity theft?
* On line payments?
* On line checking?
* Phishing?
* E-mail scams?
* Employee fraud?
(Remember our story on the Pizza Hut employee who helped herself to merchandise ordered with customers’ debit and credit card numbers?) –Read “Identity Theft: Employers Beware”
Please share your thoughts in our comments section.
While this survey looked toward to regulatory solutions, we’d like to know what you’re doing at home and work to prevent identity theft and financial crimes.
Are you:
*Shredding documents?
* Using anti-spyware programs?
*Using anti-phising programs?
We’ve heard from the experts in the field of financial crimes, now we want to hear from the experts at home- you! Please share your concerns and what you’re doing at home to protect yourself from identity theft and financial crimes.

2 thoughts on “The Survey Says… Identity Theft”

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