These days, following the Equifax breach, it seems like identity theft risks are everywhere. However, who would think that a normal, seemingly harmless Minnesota call center could present a threat? Yet, a recent survey from Semafone indicates that most call centers are outdated. Their security systems and protocols haven’t kept up with changing risks, but they handle more sensitive data than ever. Hopefully, exposing outdated call center vulnerabilities will pressure those in charge into making changes. In the meantime, Minnesota consumers can take measures to protect themselves against identity theft when dealing with call centers.
Why Minnesota Consumers Face Identity Theft Risks When Sharing Information with Call Centers
For the Semafone study, employees from more than 500 call centers were surveyed. Then, through this research, it was discovered that 72% of call centers still collect consumer information verbally. For example, they require consumers in Minnesota and other states to provide their Social Security number over the phone. In addition, these call centers also ask consumers to communicate credit card information and driver’s license numbers in this fashion. Unfortunately, this makes sensitive data communicated to call centers susceptible scammers listening in.
Next, the survey shows that about 30% of call center agents have access to consumer data. This is scary because fraudsters often seek jobs at call centers to gain information and commit identity theft. And if the findings from this survey are accurate, many could do this successfully. Interestingly, 42% of survey participants revealed that most supervisors know that consumer data is exposed, but they do nothing.
Of course, the study shows that observation of actual fraud and identity theft is fairly low. Only 7% of surveyed agents admitted to receiving requests for consumer information. In addition, 9% said that they know an agent who has stolen and used sensitive data to commit identity theft. Still, any indication that Minnesota information is unsafe at call centers is bad news. Also, call center agents who participate in fraud are unlikely to respond truthfully when surveyed.
How Minnesota Consumers Can Protect Themselves Against Identity Theft When Dealing with Call Centers
If you ever need customer support for any reason, it is nearly impossible to avoid call centers entirely. However, when discussing issues with agents, you can guard your personal data. For example, if asked to provide your Social Security number over the phone, as if you can provide this information through a safer channel. The same goes for any type of data that scammers might use to commit identity theft.
Next, whether dealing with outdated call centers or providing information online, Minnesota consumers are always at risk for identity theft. Even if you are as vigilant as possible, hackers may steal your data when you least expect it. For this reason, you should keep an eye on your financial statements and regularly check your credit reports.
By reviewing your credit reports at least once every 12 months, you can catch and report fraudulent accounts and bogus transactions. This is how often the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows Minnesota consumers to request free copies of their credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
If, while going over your credit reports, you spot suspicious items, file a police report immediately. Then, reach out to us at Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Minnesota. We understand that credit report recovery after identity theft is often confusing when identity theft victims go through it on their own. That’s why, when you call our firm, we’ll put you in touch with an experienced credit repair attorney. Then, no matter what it takes, we’ll get you clean credit reports – for free.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let fraudulent accounts or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (612) 235-4458 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/minnesota/credit-repair/. Or, to learn more about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, check out https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/minnesota/id-theft/.