These are stories that we’ve selected from the news from this past week that involve the crime of identity theft. When 15 people every minute continue to be victimized by identity thieves, being aware of how current thieves are operating is a great empowerment tool. My hope is that you will find the information contained in these stories to be useful in preventing identity theft from happening to you. Please note: these links go to third party sites, where we do not control the content of the website. If you are concerned about identity theft happening to you, please be sure to take a moment to read our comprehensive reviews on identity theft protection products.
When it comes to my grandfather, one of the most common questions my family discusses is what to give him when the holidays come around. After all, the man has virtually everything he could ever want in life. He’s not really into watching modern movies and his collection of DVD’s from the black & white era of cinema is extremely extensive. He doesn’t really like candy much because it hurts his teeth and he has enough money that he eats out most nights, so getting him gift cards seems a bit pointless. Do you have a family member like this? If so, then I’d like to share with you what we’ve decided to do for my grandfather this year, because we’re getting him a comprehensive identity theft protection plan.
In the last decade, technology has advanced at a crazy pace. Cell phones used to be the size of your arm and now some of them are so small that they get lost in the pocket lining of your pants. Home computers used to be great if they could hold 1 MB of memory and now we’ve got portable tablets and computers that can access the internet virtually anywhere on Earth. Many of us had to use maps to find out where we were going on a road trip and now a GPS unit on our smartphone can give us turn by turn voice directions to almost any destination. Technology is a wonderful thing, and the identity thief would agree with you 100%.
Learning the language of identity theft can be a difficult prospect. We’ve talked about spear phishing, smishing, and even oversharing in the past. We’ve examined protection programs life Identity Guard. Today, however, we’re going to be talking about what is known as “spoofing.” Spoofing is the alteration of an e-mail header so that it appears to have been sent from someone other than the person who sent the e-mail. Now there are legal forms of spoofing, such as disguising your identity for fear of retaliation. Spoofing anyone other than yourself, however, is quite illegal… and an easy way for identity thieves to fool you into thinking that you’ve got to do something.
Identity theft affects 15 people every minute in the United States in a negative way. That’s because identity thieves profit from stealing people’s identity to the tune of over $40 billion each year… and that number is growing. Whether you choose a provider like Identity Force to protect your identity or you choose to utilize some of the methods that we’ve previously discussed, identity theft happens because people choose to do nothing. Here are some selected news clips from across the United States regarding identity theft cases that have happened in just the last week:
What is spear phishing? To sum it up in one sentence, it is a targeted e-mail fraud attempt that seeks out unauthorized access to confidential information from a targeted individual or organization. Spear phishing differs from regular “phishing,” with which many of us are familiar, in that it isn’t some random dude behind a computer attempting to get as much information from as many people as possible by posing as a large corporation.
It is very much on point, very target orientated, and has a specific goal in mind, such as trade secrets, military information, or financial gain. Why is spear phishing dangerous? Because we’re geared to know not to share our own confidential information, like our bank account numbers, with anyone. We’re not so geared to be suspicious of an e-mail request from a network administrator asking us to log into a website to verify a report.
Gone are the days when it was enough to pick up the newspaper to find a job listing, pay a visit to the business owner, get a spot interview, and potentially be working the very next day. Some jobs have over 100 applicants for them, and more employers every day are relying on electronic application methods to streamline the hiring process. There are also a large number of job seeker websites available, like Monster.com, where applicants can upload a resume and then apply to multiple jobs with just a couple clicks of the mouse.
With all of that information available for literally millions of people, identity thieves are attracted to these sites like a shark is attracted to blood in the water. Besides signing up for identity theft protection services from a professional company like LifeLock® or Identity Guard, what else can you do to protect your identity while trying to find a job?
For some people, the problem of identity theft just isn’t a reality. It might be because it hasn’t happened to them just yet, because they believe they are invulnerable to this crime, or because they live in a rural environment and don’t interact with people very often. There are literally thousands of reasons why people don’t take identity theft seriously, and that’s the reason why identity theft is the fast growing crime in our country. Just how prevalent is identity theft these days? I’ve put together a sampling of news links for you after the jump to read at your own convenience to see what has happened in just the last seven days when it comes to news stories about identity theft.
Are you truly aware of the risks that you take when you are using public computers or Wi-Fi to access social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest? Free Wi-Fi is literally everywhere you look these days and it is a big selling point for many businesses. I can even get free Wi-Fi while I’m waiting for my doctor in that tiny little room filled with magazines that are three years old. Free Wi-FI at fast food establishments or the ever popular cyber coffee cafe often appeals to people as well. There are, in fact, many people who may end up spending many hours being active on social networks while on public Wi-Fi or at a public computer every single day. That fact alone is enough to consider getting a professional protection plan like you can get with Identity Guard or another professional organization.