Social media profiles have become a pretty big part of our society today, and a pretty big part of many of our lives. We’ve started using social media networks to get in touch with old friends, keep in contact with distant family members, rekindle old romantic relationships, boast about our children, and to network for new job opportunities.
But what we may not have been prepared for is our social media profiles having anything to do with our credit.
Social Media Profiles as Credit Scores?
There have been rumors going around about the possibility of social media profiles being used as a portion of the credit approval and denial process. It’s not necessarily that social media profiles are going to start impacting your actual credit scores anytime in the near future. But some companies have begun to use social media profiles as a way to verify their applicants’ identities.
But that also doesn’t mean that social media profiles will never be used as a very real factor in the credit approval process. Think about it: your social media profile shows a lot about you and your lifestyle. It shows many aspects of your life, who you spend your time with, and your personality. So no one is discounting the possibility of social media profiles affecting credit approvals and/or credit scores sometime in our future.
Social Media Profiles to Help Prevent Credit Fraud
As I said above, social media profiles aren’t yet being used as grounds for approvals/denials for credit. But they are being used to help verify a person’s or a business’ identity. Online credit fraud is costing businesses and individuals millions of dollars a year. So companies that offer credit are constantly looking for more and more ways to be able to better verify a person’s identity before extending credit to an applicant in that name. It is fairly easy for criminals to gain access to a person or business’ personally identifiable information (or the information that creditors use to verify a person’s identity). Criminals have found ways to access consumers’ names, birth dates, employment history, previous addresses, even their social security numbers. So many creditors are feeling that the current methods used to verify individuals’ identities just aren’t good enough anymore.
You know what isn’t as simple to be fraudulent with? An individual’s or business’ social media profile. Sure, there aren’t many safeguards in place to prevent someone from setting up a fake social media profile. But for a criminal to set up a fraudulent social media profile in a victim’s name, AND for them to take the time to properly build that profile to be a believable one, now that is a different story. It doesn’t take much to tell if a social media profile is fraudulent or not. So some companies have started to request access to applicants’ social media profiles to help verify their identities. They are usually able to see years of history on this one person in the form of pictures, status updates, friend relationships, etc. All of these things can help a company to verify that the person that is applying for credit with them is actually the person that they say they are.
Some people feel that we share way too much personal information on our social media profiles, and that all of this information shared puts us at higher risk of credit fraud against our names. But others feel that it is exactly the opposite: that companies can use these social media profiles to more properly identify an individual, and thus to help prevent credit fraud from happening.
Author of this article is Michael Bratton, PR Director and Marketing Manager of BCRC. You can check out his other articles at bestcreditrepaircompanys.com.