Identity Theft Rings Focus On Loans and Credit Cards

Identity theft rings are in every state, victimizing approximately 10 million people a year.

In Wycoff NJ, 11 men and women were arrested on charges of stealing identities to open credit cards in an alleged scheme that is believed to have defrauded more than 70 victims.

Patch reports: “Credit cards were opened in the victims’ names, and charges were made on their behalf by “authorized buyers.” The task force investigation found that most of the victims had recently refinanced or applied through.”

In Tyler TX 45 people were victimized in a loan in an identity theft scam using loan fraud. KLTV reports “They had obtained information on citizens, names, date of  birth, social security numbers and so on. Enough so that when they went online to these loan companies then they took out a loan in someone else’s name. Then, they went to a bank and opened an account in their true name and had that money wired to their account.”

Consumers must:

  • Protect themselves from account takeover by monitoring their accounts closely, protect their passwords, and refute unauthorized charges.
  • Protect themselves from new account fraud by locking down their credit with a credit freeze or identity theft prevention services.
  • Protect their devices with antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall.

Identity theft will continue to plague citizens until smart systems are put in place to mitigate new account fraud and account takeover. Businesses are engaging an emerging device identification technology by Oregon-based iovation Inc. that spots cybercriminals by analyzing the reputation of computers and mobile devices used to connect to online businesses. They proactively investigate for suspicious activity and check for characteristics consistent with fraudulent users.

In one major case, iovation helped bust a fraud ring that victimized over 15 people where tens of thousands of fraudulent charges were racked up. The case started when a report of $5,000 in fraudulent credit card charges at a large electronics store and two department stores was reported. It just so happens that the credit issuer was using iovation to flag fraudulent credit card applications and tracking that back to the specific computers and mobile devices used. This information, combined with surveillance photos and other offline detective work, provided the perfect blend of digital and physical data that law enforcement needed to bust the crime ring.