An increasingly common phenomenon, identity theft through digital means is a crime that can cause many problems. Imagine an unknowing criminal using your name to open an account such as telephony, and you only find out when your name is dirty? Well, that’s just one of the problems.
As can be seen, these crimes are characterized by the theft of personal data, with the intention of committing some kind of digital fraud. There are many types of actions in the possession of consumer data, ranging from financial theft to using the victim’s data for medical treatment or applying for credit.
These crimes are becoming simpler and simpler for criminals, an example is the ease with which they break into someone’s accounts on social networks today. The big mistake people make is in the misuse of tools and in the fact that they freely share personal information on the Internet.
In possession of the data, the embezzler poses as the victim, in order to buy or sell. In some cases, fraud and identity theft can take years to detect, and in others to try to expose and unsubscribe. However, even with best efforts there is no guarantee that these frauds will be resolved and losses recovered.
See types of thefts
There are several ways to steal someone’s identity, but there are always the most common ones:
Account access – in this case, in possession of the victim’s data and passwords, the person impersonates them in the bank’s security environments in order to fraudulently obtain money, usually through a virus.
This is the type of offense that harms consumers the most, as it uses stolen data to log into a bank account and transfer money to another account. You can also add his name to the bank account in “download”. With this, you can submit false tax documents and get a refund of income tax refunds, get loans, make purchases with a credit card, for example.
use of identity – this is really worrying, but it has become very common, the embezzler assumes someone else’s identity, setting up a false identity, in order to avoid the legal consequences of his actions. Usually, this crime is committed when the thief uses someone else’s false documents or forges documents because he has not been arrested or prosecuted.
medical identity – this case occurs when a fraudster steals an identity, including health insurance information, using it to provide treatment on behalf of the victim. So, when the latter goes for medical help, he can be denied treatment, since the thief has already received that treatment.
The situation is serious, even if a child’s identity theft occurs, fraudsters can use the child’s social security number or other identification to apply for credit, make purchases, etc.
Profile on social networks – This is becoming very common, in which a fraudster can take over someone’s network or even create an account on the networks with that person’s information. With that, he starts talking to contacts for various actions, such as asking for money or trying to sell goods and products that usually don’t exist. Actions via WhatsApp, asking for money from parents, relatives and friends are also very common.
What to do?
The best thing you can do in such cases is to protect yourself. These thefts usually take place through the Internet, social networks, e-commerce sites, data leaks, also through phishing and pharming attacks to trick victims into handing over confidential personal information. Keep in mind that phishing mostly takes place through the use of fake e-mails, while pharming takes place through fake websites.
With this, malware viruses or malware are injected into the machines and then the thieves need to turn the stolen data into profit and this is where the dark web comes in. The guideline is that in order to reduce or eliminate the risk of your identity being stolen, here are some tips:
Protect your email account with a strong and unique password with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, or generate random passwords and update them often;
Always log out after checking email, bank accounts or other social networks and on any computer other than your own;
Never use unsecured public Wi-Fi, as anyone with a little knowledge and access to the right tools can park your computer on a public Wi-Fi network and spy on everyone else;
Do not write down passwords anywhere and be very careful when typing them, make sure no one is watching and the machine is secure;
Don’t trust online chats, especially when people are asking for your details and other personal information;
Do not click on strange links sent by SMS, email or WhatsApp;
Always have an up-to-date antivirus program
Don’t expose yourself too much on social media, so it’s more likely that your identity won’t be stolen.
“Keeping in mind that no one is immune to identity theft, but some people are more at risk than others. Identity thieves prey on people who are less likely or less able to regularly monitor their financial accounts. Internet, like anyone using the same password for more accounts.
I remind you that protection is prior prevention and constant monitoring of the account, finally, an interesting way is to block the phone with a fingerprint and activate facial recognition. Finally, lower the limits and keep the credit blocked until you need it,” concludes the expert.