Identity fraud in Latin America is a serious problem that affects millions of people each year. Today, criminals have found new ways to steal personal information from innocent individuals and take advantage of it. Identity theft is one of the most widely used techniques by criminals, allowing attackers to gain access to their victims' personal and financial information.
According to data from the Bank of Mexico, our country ranks eighth with the most identity thefts worldwide. Only in the year 2021, 4.4 million claims were registered to banking institutions that operate in the country. This means that every day, thousands of people are victims of identity fraud in Mexico at hundreds of financial institutions.
Purchasing personal data in Mexico is alarmingly accessible. In Facebook groups and other social networks, fake IDs are sold for as little as 10 pesos (50 US cents).
The fact that the INE database was leaked in 2022 is a serious problem for the privacy of Mexican citizens. This database contains information from all the mexicans who are old enough to vote, what is even more worrying, images of the IDs. Criminals now have access to the personal and confidential information of millions of people, which can lead to identity theft and other types of fraud. It is even more alarming that this database is being sold on the identity black market for as little as 250 pesos (12.5 USD), making it even easier for criminals to access the personal and financial information of innocent people. Effective measures are required to prevent this from happening in the future and to protect the privacy of citizens.
The above facts lead to the sale of identifications where the criminals guarantee that the impersonated individual has a credit bureau rating greater than 700 points (a rating that very few Mexicans hold). This makes the chances of success of applying for a loan in someone else's name even greater.
In an increasingly digitized world, it is crucial that people are aware of the importance of protecting their personal data. To prevent identity theft, it is essential to exercise caution when sharing personal and financial information with third parties. Also, it's important to be careful where you leave your IDs and who you show them to. On the other hand, an effective way to prevent credit from being obtained in one's name is to block the credit bureau or make use of the alert system. Blocking the credit bureau means that financial institutions will not have access to credit information, which makes it difficult to fraudulently use someone's identity. It is also recommended to activate the alerts, so that the account holder is notified each time a query is made on his or her credit history.
A common mistake in organizations is to think that the KYC (Know your customer) process will stop fraud in organizations. Therefore, we recommend analyzing the additional information of the applicant, such as their profiles on social networks and their geographical location. It is also essential to validate identification information such as the CURP and RFC, and to check if the applicant's face has been seen in any previous application process.
At Trully we develop identity verification technologies that use big data, artificial intelligence and collective intelligence to eradicate fraud in organizations and return control of decision making to companies. This is how we stop criminal organizations whose sole purpose is to affect companies in an organized way.
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Author: Eric Balderrama - CISOLawyer expert in cybersecurity, with extensive experience in preventing digital fraud in the banking and financial sector in Latin America. Tireless fighter against identity theft and account take over.