Just like the major personal information hacks at Equifax, add Alteryx of Irvine CA to the list of companies with a data breach. A leader in self-service data analytics, Alteryx’s breach exposed sensitive information on more than 100 million consumer households. Again, that’s more consumer personal information in the hands of identity thieves.
The data exposed provides “some location information, contact information and other estimated information that is used for marketing purposes. It does not include names, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account information or passwords,” according to an online statement by Alteryx CEO Dean Stoecker.
The information obtained does include information on consumer’s home addresses, mortgage ownership, and financial histories. Mr. Stoecker said the company has taken steps to ensure breaches don’t recur. Like closing the barn door after the horse escaped.
The information housed in the Alteryx system is from data provided by large companies such as Equifax, Hyatt, Unilever, Target, Office Depot and many more. This is big data provided by major companies for analysis through Alteryx systems to assist them in marketing and customer services.
It’s one more reason why mortgage lenders must be very careful to verify and validate the identity of their applicants and the entities with which they do business.
With online, streamlined verification services, in many cases, the lender does not meet the consumer nor verify their qualifications directly with employers or asset holders.
With information gleaned from major data sources such as Alteryx and Equifax, it is easier to impersonate a consumer or many consumers. This can be done to transact fake loans or intercept wired funds meant for a loan closing. Lenders can’t be too careful.
It’s important for lenders to take the proper steps to ensure the loans they’re making are to bona fide applicants and not identity thieves. Technology can help. But, it can’t do it alone.
Lenders need to train their employees to be diligent and on the lookout for anything that may raise a red flag.
Remember, even with Fannie and Freddie’s programs to provide lenders with rep and warrant relief, the lender remains on the hook in the event of fraud or misrepresentations.
It’s entirely up the lender to validate that the information provided and that is used to get the relief, is the real deal. If not, you may own a loan that you can’t enforce because the borrower is fraudulent.
In the new year, lenders need to double their efforts to verify applicant identity and their qualifying information. Also, pay very close attention to the results of their required pre and post-closing loan reviews.
Today, just because something may look and quack like a duck, don’t be fooled. It may be a robot or a rat in duck’s feathers.