What is Identity Fraud and how to prevent it?

November 2020
Identity fraud has risen alongside the advancement of technology. From this article inTechradar, we find that damage caused by internet fraud amounted to $3 trillion worldwide in 2015 and is predicted to be $6 trillion in 2021. This makes cyber fraud one of the biggest threats in our economy and the fastest growing crime.

What is identity fraud? 

Identity fraud is the use of another person’s personal information, without authorization, to commit a crime or to impersonate the person for the purposes of deceiving or defrauding a third party. This is usually achieved through identity theft. 

Identity thieves are individuals who steal people’s identity to commit crime. There are various ways in which identity can be stolen, with both offline and online methods. The offline way is to go through a person’s trash, steal their mail, purses or wallets etc. to find out personal information and use it. As people are more reliant on technology, fraudsters now steal personal information via various online methods such as phishing emails, social engineering and even sending messages leading people to innocently hand over their login data for banks and credit card websites, conned into thinking the websites are legitimate. Of all fraud methods, social engineering is the biggest issue for companies. It became the most common fraud method in 2019, accounting for 73% of all attempted attacks, according to Techradar’s research. 

Social engineering happens when fraudsters send a link or an instant message with details of a website to social media account owners, retrieving their account information including name, password, date of birth once owners register an account or click on the website. Fraudsters may even build a legitimate website to deceive their targets.

How can you prevent identity frauds? 


  • Be alert in public places

Stay alert in public places, try not to lose track of any important identity cards, credit cards etc. Also, be aware of the potential of pick pockets or shoulder surfing. Don’t let people stay close to you at an ATM when you are inputting your PIN etc.

  • Handle documents with personal information carefully 

Mitigate your risks by shredding any important documents containing personal information e.g. old bank statements, credit cards etc. to avoid thefts that will access your information.

  • Watch your account activity

Pay close attention to your account activities so that you can spot when your account is being accessed by someone else. Continue monitoring your monthly statements, set alerts so you will be notified if there are any transactions going on without your acknowledgement. 

  • Maximize digital security
    Maximize your account security by using strong passwords for your online banking accounts, social media etc. Biometric security is effective in fighting identity frauds as it’s much more accurate and secure.

    Beware of any suspicious messages and links

Since social engineering has become one of the most used methods for fraudsters, it’s vital to be wary of dubious messages sent from an unknown sender, or even someone you may know as his/her account may have been hacked. Don’t click on links that you are unsure about and don’t share your passwords, security questions and answers with anyone. 

To avoid identity fraud, a great identity verification solution can protect you from identity thieves and also allow you to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process without much hassle. Blockpass is a unique, reusable digital identity (DID) solution for organizations that participate in regulated industries and in the increasingly remote business environment where trust needs to be verified digitally. Blockpass offers an alternative process to cumbersome, repetitive and expensive Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks through a seamless merchant dashboard that is setup immediately with pay-as-you-go and no initial fee. Blockpass’ KYC Connect® platform enables businesses to select requirements for customer onboarding that can include ID authentication, face-matching, address checking, AML ongoing monitoring and/or screening of sanctions lists, politically exposed persons (PEP), and adverse media. Through Blockpass, end-users easily create a verified portable identity that they can control and re-use to onboard with any service instantly. In response to the Covid pandemic, Blockpass recently developed a digital certificate service for Covid infection and antibody verification testing.