Government Agencies Are a Big Target for Criminal Fraud—What Can Be Done About It?

2017 has been a record-setting year when it comes to the number of data breaches, according to information put out by the Identity Theft Resource Center. Stolen records, including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and more, will be used by criminals to commit fraud in a variety of industries. Frank Abagnale, in a recent article for Fraud of the Day, explains that government services and programs are likely to be among the most popular targets for the following reasons:

  • Government is a high-return, low-risk target. Government benefits and services do not appear on credit reports, so the fraud cannot be flagged by credit monitoring groups.
  • Government unintentionally offers a criminal multiple bites at the apple. Criminals can use a single stolen identity to file for tax refunds both federally and in any (or all!) of the 42 states that require individuals to file state tax returns.
  • Government agencies typically don’t share data. Not only is this a reason for which government agencies are targeted, but it is also perhaps the key to fighting back against this strand of cybercrime.

For more information, read the article in full at Fraud of the Day.