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Dec 31, 2021

Protecting your business from Identity Fraud during holiday


The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. It's a season where everyone gets to be merry, be of good cheer, and take a break from work - well, everyone except fraudsters.

During the holiday season, people tend to make a greater number of purchases than they typically would during the rest of the year. They also tend to be more distracted by the hustle and bustle of the festivities that they tend to let their guard down. This atmosphere creates the perfect opportunity for fraudsters to prey on their victims.

The Identity Theft Research Center reported the number of data breaches to have surpassed the total number in 2020 by over 17%. With over 1,291 breaches, compared to 1,108 in 2020.

The most significant increase in 2021 can be seen in phishing attacks, ransomware attacks and supply chain attacks. In fact, phishing attacks nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020, ransomware payouts rose 82% in the first half of 2021, and supply chain attacks are up 42%.

Identity theft trends we saw in 2021

No matter what business sector people found themselves in, cyber fraud was on the rise, and we’ve curated some of the most notable frauds that affected (remote) operations in 2021.

  • Deepfakes and AI-Generated Faces

We saw the rise of deepfakes as a method of stealing identities in 2021. AI-powered synthetic compilations of audio or video materials that imitate a real person originally used for parodies were soon picked up by scammers who started to use it for identity theft. These fraudsters use this mechanism to create fake accounts, hack devices and, ultimately, steal data.

  • Deduplication

Another identity theft trend for 2021 was that criminals increasingly aimed to brute force applications by submitting the exact illegitimate credentials repeatedly by submitting hundreds of documents with the same face or similar document numbers.

Identity theft is difficult to detect as the victims have no idea that it has been stolen, so it’s not reported on time. The victims find out about the theft only when they receive a bank statement or its alternatives.

Although there is no such thing as complete protection, we can still make ourselves a less easy mark.

How to protect your  business against Identity theft

  • Layer up identity verification and signals

Traditionally businesses have to rely on signals to trust a new user. These signals include device IP, phone number, or identity databases. Alas, fraudsters can also abuse these signals.

However, layering identity processes help businesses build strong assurance of their users’ real identities.

For example, combining a person’s ID with facial recognition can help protect against stolen IDs.

Finding the identity verification provider is critical for maintaining business integrity. Appruve provides a set of APIs and SDKs that help businesses to detect fraud and automate compliance across Africa.

Appruve Identity APIs enable you to quickly verify a user's identity using data directly from government databases that issue the identity document.

Appruve is designed to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), SOC2 and most recent Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, allowing for an effective customer due diligence (CDD) process.

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