Published: Monday August 17, 2015
When was the last time you met a digital baby, and would you even know if you had? It’s a question we’ve never stopped to consider, but this story shows how cyber criminals could be harvesting ‘virtual babies’ online.
It goes a little something like this… a new identity is ‘birthed’ online using faked birth certificates, then left to mature until adulthood. The idea being that as they grow up these identities could be used to take out loans, get credit cards and even take out life insurance policies before being ‘killed off’ to cash in on the money. In theory, they could also give the financially irresponsible another crack with a new identity.
If online birthing sounds like something from a sci-fi film to you, then rest assured you’re not alone! But don’t fret, we don’t imagine this will become a trend. After all, a criminal would have to have the patience of a saint to wait 18 years for their virtual baby to reach adulthood before committing fraud…
If anything it’s indicative of the evolution of fraud, showing the increasingly innovative ways fraudsters will seek to part us from our money. The real threat is still opportunistic.
Online fraudsters, like any criminal, will take the path of least resistance… to literally take the money and run. Why spend years fostering a fake online identity when you can make a steal (excuse the pun) now?
Poor data processes provide the opportunity for fraudsters to slip through the cracks, as well as fuelling the distrust between business and customers. Our Trust Economy research showed that the majority (83%) of businesses confess to having data challenges.
If anything, the idea of virtual babies highlights that there’s literally no excuse for companies to not know who their customers are. New customers may seem genuine. They may even actually be genuine, but there can’t be any element of doubt. Your business needs to know for sure! You need to use data intelligently, responsibly and flexibly to get true insight.
Can you react and change your systems and processes immediately, or will you be waiting 18 years to find out you’ve had a digital baby on your books?