When we open accounts or access existing accounts, we know that checks will be made. It’s easy to presume that these are an inconvenience made to protect a business or because the law demands it. It’s worth taking a moment to consider the very real benefits that identity checking and checks for fraud deliver to society and how they make life safer for us all.
Protecting the victims of identity theft:
Identity theft is on the increase but the theft of an identity is just the beginning. The real distress is caused when criminals use stolen identities to open or takeover accounts and steal money or goods. By being sure that they understand who is opening or accessing an account, businesses are taking a big step in protecting the victims of fraud. A very upsetting form of identity theft occurs when the identity of someone who has died is stolen – when this is spotted and prevented, a great deal of distress is avoided for their relatives.
Preventing criminals from accessing funds:
Identity checks are often carried out to prevent money laundering. Money generated in criminal enterprise can’t be easily spent by criminals – they have to launder it first. Identity checks for anti-money-laundering doesn’t only stop criminals from getting rich, they also stop criminals having money to fund further criminal activity. By diligently carrying out anti-money-laundering checks businesses are protecting us from future crime, this could include drug dealing, human trafficking and even terrorist attacks.
Protecting the vulnerable:
Some products and services are restricted and should not be made available to underage children. By checking identities, businesses are making sure that youngsters are not exposed to things such as alcohol and gambling that could be harmful to them.
As we’ve moved to a 24/7 always on culture, our tolerance for delay has been reduced. Understandably we want fast access to our accounts but individually and as part of a wider society we need protection. Businesses which are carrying out identity and fraud checks are helping us all stay safe.