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6 Realities Of Identity Theft
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There are many issues regarding identity theft. These are but a few that will open your eyes to this problem.

1. People can use your SSN and open up credit cards under another name. The kicker though is that, according to a Consumer Reports article from 2008, since the accounts are not in your name you have no legal right to see the accounts. The reason? It would be an invasion of that person's privacy You'd only find out when that person stops making payments and you get harassed by bill collectors.

The government agencies are some of the worst groups for reporting and keeping track of identity theft as they have no financial incentive to do so.

2. Criminals can use malware to access your wireless router. They then can change you website address settings sending you to a rogue site regardless of whether or not you typed in the correct address.

3. According to the Anti-Phishing Work Group, over 33% of websites hosted password stealing malware.

4. Botnets - computers that are grouped together that send out spam containing phishing email and malware.

5. You need to protect your child's identity too. This is one of the more insidious aspects of this crime. Your child's identity, using his or her SSN, can be hijacked for years without you or your child knowing. You might not know it until the child gets to the age of 18 and starts to try and develop a credit history.

6. Identity theft is harder to solve. With a lot of other crimes there is blood and DNA evidence. Not to mention if you've read any of FBI profiler John Douglas's books the way the crime scene is done gives clues through behavioral analysis as to the type of person who commited the crime.

Many credit card information is sold through what is called "carder forums." They are very closed to outsiders and you can't even get on it unless another criminal on the forum vouches for what a "stand up guy or girl you are."

These are four more realities of identity theft. To fight identity theft write your lawmakers to get the law changed about notifiying you when someone uses your SSN number. This is especially important to protect your child's identity.

Do everything you can to secure your router, particularly if it's wireless. And with phishing NEVER give your password to any email that asks for it.

I have close to ten years experience in the protective security industry. To help you learn more about how you can protect yourself from identity theft I will be publishing more articles here so check back often.

Street Talk


Excellent article Ian. It is amazing how easy criminals can access information and leverage data that is freely available online through social networks and other mediums to put together complete identity profiles. We need to be careful who we trust with our information and second guess anybody that calls from an apparent "financial institution" claiming they need our personal information. Verify, verify, verify!

  about 1 decade ago
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