Synthetic identity fraud is a crime where perpetrators combine real and/or fictitious information, such as SSN and fake names, to create identities with which they can use to defraud financial institutions, government agencies, or real people. CDIA members are consumer reporting agencies that offer an array of services to prevent fraud, including synthetic identity. Our members’ fraud prevention customers include financial institutions, government agencies, nonprofits, landlords, and employers. CDIA members often partner with the public sector, including the Federal Reserve, in the ongoing quest to reduce fraud. One government partner is the Federal Reserve.
To educate the industry, help reduce fraud risk and advance the safety and security of the U.S. payment system, the Federal Reserve published three white papers on synthetic identity fraud from July 2019 to July 2020. To help further control synthetic identity fraud, the Fed announced “a focus group of experts [that includes two CDIA member companies] to create an industry-recommended definition of synthetic identity fraud and a suggested approach for voluntary industry application.” We are glad that the Fed has recognized the value of consumer reporting agencies to help prevent synthetic identity fraud.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More