Fraud 2020: Identity Theft Rampant in Pandemic Year

by: The Knowledge Group

June 11, 2020


With all the distractions and distresses surrounding the coronavirus crisis, perhaps it’s no wonder identity theft has increased, as Javelin Strategy & Research recently reported. According to the firm’s 2020 Identity Fraud Report, there’s a tech race between criminals and the banks they exploit to open or hijack accounts. Online fraudsters are gaining access to their targets’ personal details, which we all, to some extent, send over the internet during our normal transactions. These criminals are using:

  • Social engineering: manipulating people to extract private or personal details to steal their identity or their assets.
  • Spear-phishing: sending messages from a name the target knows, to get the recipient to send money or account data.
  • Data extrusion: fraudulent transfer of information from a computer or network, for example by malware that automates the theft of data.

A particular area of concern is the peer-to-peer payment. Apps that enable us to send money directly to friends, charitable causes, and businesses have seen massive increases in criminal activity.

In a Time of Biological and Financial Crisis, Cybercrime Thrives

Cybercriminals have exploited the generosity of donors, amid our current blend of financial and social crises, to steal access to accounts that legitimate users connect to through certain social platforms.

At the same time, the coronavirus has spurred a work-from-home trend, causing more people to adopt unfamiliar equipment and apps. It’s also pushing businesses into e-commerce. While e-commerce can save retailers, business owners who are new to the arena may not be aware of the need for web maintenance and security. Fraudulent transactions are rampant online, and even more so since the height of the virus spread.

Whether a firm is selling goods or offering professional services, it should use strict access rules and multi-factor authentication, as well as expert web maintenance or leading-edge fraud warning software, to detect traffic anomalies. The Knowledge Group will continue to keep our readers and clients apprised.