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What is dentity theft ?

Identity theft often involves the criminal obtaining an identity document in the name of the victim. All types of document fraud techniques can be used to achieve this.


The criminal then uses this document to carry out one or more transactions, simulating the victim’s identity.
For example, the fraudster may : open a bank account and obtain loans they will not have to repay, open telephone lines and never pay for calls, withdraw money from the victim’s bank account, claim to have the same qualifications and diplomas as the victim, marry someone and have children without taking, responsibility for them, claim payments intended for the real document holder (pension, benefits etc.), drive with the registration of a vehicle of the same type and not pay fines for driving offences, evade criminal responsibility, avoid responsibility for actions in daily life, etc.

The financial cost of identity theft

Experts are divided about the exact cost of identity theft, but there is no doubt that the global figure reaches tens of billions of dollars per year.

Fraudsters can carry out many financial transactions, sometimes generating very significant costs. And in cases where fraudsters are found (which is however quite rare), they are mostly insolvent and therefore unable to reimburse the costs incurred.

According to the United States Department of Justice, identity theft affected 26 million people in the USA in 2016, costing a total of 17.5 billion dollars.

 

financial cost identity theft

The human cost of identity theft

The human cost to victims of identity theft can be enormous. Indeed, beyond the financial cost, identity theft has psychological consequences. Victims must demonstrate that the fraudulent transactions were not made by themselves, and they must sometimes prove that they are themselves in court.

In a case that has become famous, Michelle Brown, an identity theft victim, testified to the United States Senate: “Over a year and a half from January 1998 through July 1999, one individual impersonated me to procure over $50,000 in goods and services. Not only did she damage my credit, but she escalated her crimes to a level that I never truly expected: she engaged in drug trafficking. The crime resulted in my erroneous arrest record, a warrant out for my arrest, and eventually, a prison record when she was booked under my name as an inmate in the Chicago Federal Prison.” (Verbal Testimony by Michelle Brown)

The Human Cost Of Identity Theft

How can we protect ourselves against identity theft?

Personal data on the internet are valuable and can attract attention from criminals looking to use information for fraudulent purposes: opening bank accounts, online gambling… To fight these cyber attacks and protect users, it is vital to include an automatic and, secure identity verification stage in your processes.

Our IDCheck.io solutions verify that the identity document provided is valid, and add to this a facial recognition step. The user takes himself in selfie, our software makes a comparison between the selfie photo taken during the process and the photo extracted from the identity document, and indicates if it is really the same person. We guarantee the identity document, as well as its holder.

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