Most people have heard of identity theft, a sophisticated and high tech form of robbery that is prevalent in today’s digital age. For those not familiar the term, identity theft is the access of vital personal information to impersonate your identity and exploit your good name for financial gain. Criminals use this information to drain bank accounts, purchase expensive consumer goods such as electronics or jewelry, or even open up lines of credit in your name. Identity theft leads to huge losses to the victims whose identities are stolen and even businesses who are often left holding the bag when it turns out that $5,000 necklace or new car was purchased fraudulently.
There was a time that, in order to verify a customer’s identity, a bank or other business merely needed to check if the number that showed up on their Caller ID display was the same number that was in the customer’s file. But, as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology grew in popularity and criminals became more sophisticated, it became easier for would-be identity thieves to fake the number that displays on Caller ID–a tactic known as call spoofing. With call spoofing, hackers were able to impersonate innocent victims and gain unauthorized access to their bank account and more. Businesses were forced to adapt and began instituting a security protocol termed Knowledge Based Answers–or, as some call it, Identity Interrogation.
With Identity Interrogation, business operators now ask their client’s various personal questions such mother’s maiden name, date of birth, and so to verify their identity prior to servicing them. But this system is far from perfect. Not only are some criminals able to get a hold of this personal information to successfully answer challenge questions, but consumers are uniformly annoyed and inconvenienced when they are interrogated ad nauseam in order to carry out the most routine of business. Business owners, on the other hand, incur costs in terms of customer relationship and increased expense. While the Identity Interrogation portion of a business call may seem relatively minor, in the aggregate the increased call times caused by this question-and-answer can cost businesses thousands of dollars a year.
The latest possible solution to the identity theft and Identity Interrogation crisis is offered by TRUSTID. This telecommunications carrier is licensed to access telephone calls that are made in the US and analyze calls in real time to find out of inbound calls are legitimate or use a spoofed or altered phone number. The best part of this unique process is that it can be completed within 5 seconds of the call being made to the company. The systems determine the legitimacy of a caller before the customer service representative even answers the phone. This process renders Identity Interrogation pointless and improves the customer-business relationship while saving the business real money. In fact, TRUSTID advertises that it can save businesses up to $0.50 per call. This may not seem like a lot, but the savings really add up businesses field hundreds or even thousands of calls per day.