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8 Signs You May Be Dealing with Identity Fraud

Findings from Insights on Identity Verification: The Fake ID Edition

Identity Fraudsters are getting better and better at what they do, which means it’s becoming even more difficult for businesses to decipher and authenticate a real identity from a fake one when approving online transactions. How to tell if someone is fake online?  We used machine learning to conduct an analysis of fraud attempts across our client base. With this information, we can better understand the fraudster profile so these false accounts will be easier to catch.

Here’s what we found:

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Sign 01

Fraudsters Avoid Major Phone Carriers

While perpetrators of identity fraud are more likely to connect via mobile phone than desktop, they are less likely to use one of the top four phone carriers. “Burner” phones provided by smaller carriers tend to be the fraudster device of choice.


14 percent less mobile use by identity fraudsters

Sign 02

Fraudsters Are More Likely to Use Common Male Names

Identity Fraudsters clearly do their research when building a fake digital persona. Actually, most use one of the top common male names reported by the Social Security Administration.

Sign 03

Fraudsters Aren't Social

A lack of social media presence is often a red flag for fraudulent activity. Approximately 80% of identities used by identity fraudsters do not have an associated social media account.

Sign 04

Fraudsters Don’t Share Their True Location

When completing online transactions, a perpetrator of identity fraud is more likely to connect via a proxy rather than his or her actual address, making it difficult to authenticate an actual location. Check to see if someone's IP data matches his or her provided address.

Sign 05

Fraudsters Don’t Like to Reveal Their Age

Be wary of blank birth dates on applications for a simple identity check. If this field isn’t required, fraudsters typically won’t include one.

Sign 06

Fraudsters Give Real Addresses, but with Incorrect Details

While fraudsters have learned not to give completely fake addresses, they are likely to use an incorrect house number or zip code on an application. An address with just one important wrong detail may be a key identifier for identity fraud.

Sign 07

Fraudsters Use Active Email Accounts and Are More Likely to Use Realistic-Looking Email Addresses

Gone are the days of fraudsters using inactive or nonsensical email addresses. Now, they are able to use active accounts and are choosing more plausible addresses, making them harder to detect through normal data security practices.

Sign 08

Fraudster Email Addresses Don't Match Their Names

Most culprits of identity theft are not able to match a victim's name and email address when attempting to impersonate them online. Only about 32% get both right. Keep your ID protected by checking both.