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Identity Theft & Fraud Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Two popular holiday shopping days – “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – are also popular times for identity theft. A ‘Shop Safe on Back Friday and Cyber Monday’ infographic offers some tips for shoppers to use to protect against identity theft during the holidays. The infographic is available on the website at

The infographic highlights ten specific tips to help avoid identity theft on “Black Friday,” the Friday following the Thanksgiving Day holiday that is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas holiday shopping season, and “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday when many people shop online. The ten tips to ‘Shop Safe on Back Friday and Cyber Monday’ are:

  • Avoid untrusted websites and only shop on websites used safely in past.
  • Recognize signals that website has proper security and encryption such as https://.
  • Monitor account statements and credit reports.
  • Pay attention to warning messages from computer software.
  • Install anti-virus, spyware firewall protection software.
  • Avoid phishing emails disguised as legitimate information from trusted companies.
  • Properly dispose of paper documents containing personal information.
  • Only give out necessary information when shopping.
  • Consider identity theft insurance in case of identity theft incident.
  • Be ready to react upon learning of a potential threat.

In addition, the infographic provides some important identity theft statistics:

  • 56% of people say that they only shop online at websites they know are safe.
  • 64% of people say that they have protection software installed and updated on their computers.
  • 54% of people are familiar with phishing emails.
  • 87% of identity theft victims believe their information was stolen from offline source.
  • 21% of respondents report using an identity monitoring service to stay updated on their identity security status.

The infographic shows what type of data gets stolen in identity theft:

  • 31.4% name and address.
  • 19% Social Security numbers.
  • 10.5% date of birth.
  • 8.6% financial information.
  • 4.6% credit card numbers.
  • 25.9% other.

The infographic reveals how long before identity theft discover their identity was stolen:

  • 45% within 3 months.
  • 21% within 1 month.
  • 14% after 3 years.
  • 20% unknown.

The infographic also shows how identity theft victims find out their identity was stolen:

  • 47% adverse action taken against them.
  • 31% personal proactive action.
  • 22% proactive action by a business.

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. According to statistics on, approximately 141 million U.S. consumers shopped during Black Friday in 2013, spending a total of $57.4 billion, with online sales reaching $1.2 billion. Cyber Monday online sales hit a record $2.29 billion in 2013, growing by 20.6% over the previous year, according to

Happy Thanksgiving From Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ – wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. ESR offices will be closed Thursday, November 27, 2014 and Friday, November 28, 2014 for Thanksgiving. ESR offices will be open on Monday, December 1, 2014. To learn more about ESR, call 888.999.4474 or visit




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