With the holiday season around the corner, there are concerns that there will only be an increase in identity theft, scams and fraud.

With the holiday season around the corner, there are concerns that there will only be an increase in identity theft, scams and fraud. (Image – Shutterstock).

Why identity theft protection will be crucial in 2024

  • Identity theft cases are expected to rise during the holiday season.
  • Deepfakes will accelerate identity-related scams and fraud in Asia.
  • Identity theft protection will see an increase in 2024.

There is no denying that identity theft protection will be crucial from now on, especially with the amount of deepfake content and stolen identities being reported today. Identity theft protection is already important, because bad actors use identity theft to get rich and wreck lives. While generative AI has done wonders for many individu, the technology has also been used for the wrong reasons, with identity theft being the biggest concern.

Today, anyone can access deepfake tools and create new identities, especially images based on a simple picture of any individual. And with cybercriminals targeting more customer databases in cyberattacks, the information can easily be used to create more identities or wreak havoc on users who have been compromised.

In fact, in a recent survey conducted in the US, 82% of respondents acknowledged they were concerned about the use of AI by cybercriminals to steal someone’s identity. In the UK, a report by Experian recorded a 22% increase in identity theft compared to the previous year. Specifically, Experian noticed that fraudsters have been employing more sophisticated methods, utilizing emails, texts, and phone calls to extract sensitive information, often from the dark web.

With the holiday season around the corner, there are concerns that there will only be an increase in identity theft, scams, and fraud. Credit card fraud rates have also seen a 50% uptick in November compared to last year.

Statistics from UK Finance revealed that consumers lost £580 million to scams in just six months of 2023, with Authorized Push Payment (APP) scams accounting for £239 million. Despite these alarming figures, banks’ security measures have successfully prevented approximately £651 million of fraud attempts.

“Identity theft and fraud are increasingly prevalent in the UK, and it’s never been more important for people to think twice about their personal information. All unsolicited messages should be approached cautiously unless they are sure it’s genuine, and if there is an offer online which seems too good to be true, it more than likely is,” commented Eduardo Castro, managing director identity and fraud, Experian UK&I.

Identity theft protection is vital for the future of the way the world works.

Identity theft is quickly becoming a global problem.

Identity theft in APAC

The Asia Pacific region is also witnessing an increase in identity theft. In Southeast Asia, fraudsters are making the most of stolen identities, with reports reporting increasing fraud and scams in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Given the increase in such crimes, identity theft protection is becoming increasingly critical for individuals and organizations. According to the 2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Identity Verification, “the purpose of identity verification is to establish confidence in the identity of a user during a digital interaction. As a result, across all geographies and industries, the use cases in which identity verification is required in today’s market have become broad in scope. This is accelerating as the pace and reach of digital transformation continue to expand the scope of digital interactions for both customers and workforce.”

Chief executive officer Jumio Robert Prigge believes the identity landscape will face a seismic upheaval in 2024. Prigge explained that the impending recession, budget cuts, business closures, increasing M&A activity, and more caused sweeping changes to the identity space in 2023 that are still cutting in as the holiday season approaches.

“In 2024, we can expect to see a flight to stability and consolidation in this market as vendors are bought out, forced to go out of business, and continue to streamline operations. As a result, identity verification companies will be forced to innovate or risk losing their business,” said Prigge.

Deepfakes will accelerate identity-related scams and fraud in Asia.

Deepfakes will accelerate identity-related scams and fraud in Asia. (Image generated by AI)

Identity theft protection is crucial in defending against deepfakes

As expected, deepfakes will accelerate identity-related scams and fraud in Asia. Frederic Ho, vice president of Asia Pacific at Jumio, pointed out that despite AI playing an increasingly significant role for businesses, the flip side of this technological revolution is an alarming trend where bad actors harness AI to execute sophisticated fraud attacks.

A recent incident in Hong Kong serves as a stark example. Six people were arrested for involvement in a fraud syndicate using AI to fabricate images for loan scams targeting banks and money lenders. This case marks the first instance where law enforcement in Hong Kong has made arrests linked to deepfake technology, and unfortunately, similar incidents will continue to occur across the region.

“Easy access to AI has empowered fraudsters. To stay ahead, we will see more organizations tapping into AI solutions in the fight against AI-driven cyber threats. Businesses must look to implement multimodal, biometric-based identity verification systems that can detect deepfakes and thwart the misuse of stolen personal credentials. This enables them to fortify their defenses against sophisticated scams, ensuring the highest levels of security while cultivating digital trust in this evolving disinformation age,” explained Ho.

He also believes that adopting a flexible and AI-driven compliance process will become imperative as more businesses venture across borders.

“As Asia Pacific continues to position itself for economic growth and offer numerous business opportunities, organizations are expanding their businesses to gain more regional customers. However, the rising prevalence and scale of fraud and money laundering, combined with tighter and constantly evolving regulations, point to greater compliance challenges for companies in their future expansion efforts,” said Ho.

In response to the changing regulatory landscape across different markets, Ho believes that more organizations are leveraging generative AI to automate and improve the efficiency of their compliance processes and adapt to the dynamic shifts in the regulatory landscape of each country.

“This can be instrumental in enabling fast implementation while ensuring cross-border regulatory compliance,” he concluded.