The Role of Technology in Identity Theft

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Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Sad to say, that some find it too late to discover that their privacy and identity have been compromised. You might be wondering how they do it. Here are some ways on how criminals successfully make use of technology to commit this crime.

Phishing Through Spam

This is when the thief sends repeated spam emails to its victim, that often contains scholarship grants, business partnerships and loads of free stuff.

These emails often prompt the victim to give their personal information. So, before you do, research about the company that’s emailing, or better yet, contact them directly, that is if they do exist.

Debit/Credit Card Theft

Credit card theft happens when the information on the card has been disclosed. The signature at the back may be forged from a stolen card to use it to open another account. Loaning the credit card to friends or other family members may put your personal data at risk as well, as they could also do the same thing. Another technique that perpetrators do is to swipe the card on a card reader and make a copy of that information to make legitimate purchases.

Skimming

This occurs when the card is swiped through a reader that copies the information on the credit card through the magnetic strip located at the back. The credit card code numbers are then copied to a distant electronic storage device. This allows the crook to make a copy out of it and make purchases out of your account. It can happen in different ways, one is through a recording device in the ATM. Another, is when a saleperson secretly swipes the card into their own personal digital card reader to copy the information.

Pretexting

Pretexting occurs when the crook has done extensive research on a person’s personal information and uses this to coax the person to provide even more substantial information.

They may either call you on the phone, and may fool you into thinking they are a legitimate business since they have your name, address and contact information.

Man-in-the-middle Attack

This refers to intercepting the communication of two parties, while recording pertinent information, without the parties’ knowledge. Then, these information is used to access accounts and may pave a way to stealing the person’s identity.

Bottom Line

Stealing the identity and other personal information of a person is a serious crime. You should always be careful when making business and financial transactions online. Be wary of people around you who might appear suspicious. Technology is such a gift, especially in this modern world. But, it should be used responsibly and carefully and not cause harm to anyone.

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