Identity theft typically involves a fraudster stealing victims’ personal information, such as their name, address, telephone number, and passport details. They then use this information for their own financial benefit.
It is not uncommon for criminals to take out loans, mortgages or purchase goods using another person’s details. This means that while the criminal has access to a lot more money and the chance to buy a lot of expensive goods, the victim could be left with a lifetime of debt. This could leave the victim unable to obtain a mortgage or a loan.
RKN Global’s Founder, Ronald K. Noble, notes that fraud can also be used to fund other serious crime, such as human trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism.
A recent example of money laundering made the headlines when an Indian newspaper revealed that there was a security breach in India’s national biometric database. The database contained significant personal information of over a billion Indians, including individuals’ names, addresses, and dates of birth, along with iris and fingerprint scans.
The Aadhaar database issues an identification number to every person in India. Thought to be the biggest biometric system in the world, it holds information about 1.19 billion people. There was therefore great concern when a recent news report stated that a group created on WhatsApp offered village-level enterprise operators the chance to access Aadhar personal data for a small fee.
With nearly 100,000 people with access to the Aadhaar database and in light of the sensitive information that it contains and the damage that can be done with it by criminals, the recent breach is a serious matter indeed.