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The Future of Identity Theft

Identity theft evolves as technology progresses. The Identity Theft Resource Center explains the future of this crime.

11DDefinition of Identity

The definition will swell up to include biometrics and behavior, not just driver’s license number and SSN. So your identity can be defined by how you move a mouse and your keystroke patterns.

Medical Identity

There’s no focal mechanism for the mitigation of medical identity theft, making it easy for thieves to keep getting medical treatment. Many people get their medical identity stolen without knowing it.

Statistics

Crime rate statistics are not telling the whole story. The illusion is that crime rates are on the decline; this is because statistics do not include all fraud activity. The primary indicator in crime statistics reports doesn’t even include identity theft.

Mobile wallets will not take over the world—at least not soon, anyways.

Though mobile wallets seem to be the next big wave in purchase technology, it’s not going to be easy convincing the masses to store every bit of their financial data in their smartphone. In fact, 64 percent of survey participants said they would not convert to a mobile wallet system (Consult Hyperion).

Affordability

All of these cool developments in the world of cyber communication will not necessarily apply to every single person; products cost money. So no matter how much it seems that times are changing or that people are “switching over” to some new technology, there will still be that demographic that’s seemingly left in the dust.

Finally…

It looks as though federal data breach notification laws will at last become a reality. Or so it seems.

Extra Layers

The dual and even multi-step authentication system will become more common, as more industries pick this up, to verify a user’s identity. And even consumers seem to be warming up to this.

Can’t have it both ways:

That is, security and convenience. With all the big data breaches lately, looks like privacy and security will win over convenience for the consumer.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures.

Kim Kardashian’s Identity Theft Case cracked

Never underestimate the brains of a young guy who still lives with his mother—at least not the case of 19-year-old Luis Flores, Jr., who was smart enough to steal the identities of Kim Kardashian and even the head of the FBI, and assume their financial accounts.

11DOf course, he wasn’t smart enough not to get caught.

Flores’ weapon was a flash drive loaded with private data from celebrities and politicians; he got into their credit card accounts and transferred thousands of their dollars to his bank account. He got nabbed finally.

Red flags raised when American Express reported some suspicious activity on a number of accounts, causing the Secret Service to investigate Flores and his mother.

Someone had phoned American Express claiming to be Kim Kardashian, knew her private information, then changed the account’s SSN to that of Flores’. The snail mail address was changed to Flores’ apartment’s. The caller then requested replacement cards.

The Secret Service questioned Flores and Kyah Green, his mother, about the cards but they didn’t cooperate. The Secret Service also discovered that Flores had a history of fraudulent behavior. Additionally, Flores had wired money from Kris Jenner’s account into his own.

It gets better: Authorities linked Flores to fraudulent activity involving Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton and former FBI director Robert Mueller.

The flash drive was discovered in Flores’ apartment by the Secret Service. In it was the bank and credit card accounts, credit reports and SSNs of all the victims named prior, but also those of Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Beyoncé Knowles, plus other politicians.

How could Flores’ have gotten this sensitive information? A web site that was launched last year by hackers. It is believed the hackers got the data from legitimate sources such as information brokers who didn’t realize their clients were criminals.

The search of Flores’ apartment by agents didn’t stop him; he contacted American Express in an attempt to access the accounts of Gates, Kutcher and Tom Cruise.

Flores and his mother were charged federally; both pleaded guilty. This is one more reason to invest in identity theft protection or get a credit freeze.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures.

Consumers worried about Identity Theft over Privacy

A recent poll of 1,000 Internet users reveals that they’re very concerned about security threats to their personal and financial information. Users also believe that the feds should step up more to protect them.2P

  • 80% are concerned that hackers will get into information they share.
  • 16% are on edge that businesses will use data they share online to send out unsolicited ads to them.
  • 75% are nervous their personal data will be hocked by hackers.
  • 54% worry their browsing history will be monitored for targeted advertising.
  • 57% have signed up for a two-step sign-in process.
  • 83% have required a password to unlock their devices at some point.

This small survey is indicative of the awareness that users have over security and their belief that the federal government needs to take more action.

Nevertheless, the respondents showed a proactive approach to protection, e.g., 73% don’t allow services to retain their credit card information; 65% set their browsers to disable cookies; 68% adjust privacy settings for online accounts; and 76% use a different password for different services.

But consumers give up privacy for “free”.

“The poll also shows that respondents have a lower level of concern about targeted online advertising as evidence by the fact that most would rather have a free Internet with targeted advertising than a paid service but with no advertising.  Twice as many say they prefer free online services supported by targeted ads (61%) over online services that they pay for but come with no targeted ads (33%)”

This is good news for companies providing free identity theft protection to their customers. On one hand customers want security; on the other hand they want “free”. So when offering up free identity theft protection, a consumer is getting their cake and eating it too!

CCIA

The Computer & Communications Industry Association is nonprofit and represents a large cross section of communications, computer and Internet industry businesses. CCIA promotes innovation and the preservation of fair competition throughout industry. Over 600,000 people are employed by CCIA, and yearly revenue exceeds $200 billion.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

Identity Fraud: Stolen Puerto Rican IDs Filter In The Workplace

In the U.S. identity brokers allegedly sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set, since it can be used to hide illegal immigrants and gain employment. Puerto Rican stolen identities have surfaced in workplace immigration raids all over the country. “Birth certificates have become legal tender,” said Puerto Rico’s secretary of state.

Fifty individuals were recently charged in an indictment unsealed in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit identityfraud in connection with their alleged roles in a scheme to traffic the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents. The charges are the result of an extensive identity theft investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in partnership with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

According to the indictment, from at least April 2009 to December 2011, conspirators in 15 states and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented aliens and others residing in the United States.

Businesses hiring illegal immigrants with stolen IDs face possible insider fraud among other legal and liability issues.  One way too effectively vet whether the person being hired is who they say they are, regardless of what documentation they produce is to pull their credit report. Often a credit report will have current and previous addresses. If the job candidate can’t tell you the last few places they lived that’s a red flag. You can also ask them various “knowledge based questions”. The credit report might also help the employer to track down a current phone number and simply call the person whose identity is associated with the credit report.

Robert Siciliano personal and small business security specialist toADT Small Business Security discussingADT Pulse on Fox News. Disclosures

Identity Theft – Common Consumer Errors

The major problem that consumers face today is a fundamental lack of understanding of what identity theft actually is. Most people think of identity theft as when someone uses your credit card without your permission. Fraudulent credit card use is certainly a multibillion dollar problem, but it’s only one small part of the identity theft threat. A comprehensive understanding of what identity theft and what it is not empowers citizens to make informed decisions about how they should protect themselves.

People who have been victimized by identity theft often have a difficult time functioning as a result of their circumstance. Some deal with minor administrative annoyances whiles others suffer financial devastation and legal nightmares.

No one is immune to identity theft:

A woman contacted me who was previously a very successful real estate agent and the president of her local real estate group. She had climbed the ranks from sales to broker/owner and oversaw dozens of employees. A former boyfriend stole her Social Security number and his new girlfriend used it to assume her identity. Over the course of five years the ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend traveled the world on stolen credit and destroyed the real estate agent’s ability to buy and sell property. Her real estate license was suspended and her life was turned upside down.

Awareness is key:

Do you carry your Social Security number or a Social Security card in your wallet? Do you provide this number to anyone who asks for it? The most commonly dispensed advice in response to these questions is: don’t carry the card and don’t give out the number. But in reality, there are many times when you have to use your Social Security number. Because this number is our primary identifier, we have to put it at risk constantly. Refusing to disclose your Social Security number under any circumstances is like refusing to eat because the food might be bad for you. There are always risks. The key is managing those risks and making smarter decisions.

Do you know what ATM skimming is? Have you seen a skimmer? Have you been phished? Would you know what a fraudulent auction looks like? Do you put your name on a “stop delivery list” when you travel? Do you know how to update the critical security patches in your computer’s operating system? Do you know if the doctor’s office your child just went to has done background checks on all the employees who handled your and your child’s Social Security number? Most people struggle to answer questions like these.

We live in a technologically dependant time and we rely on all these tools and modes of communication, and most people do not understand the risks. The good news is, I do. And McAfee does. And what we do is keep you informed of your options, so that you know how to protect yourself and your family.

The most important thing you can do right now is not worry about this stuff. But you do need to take some time to educate yourself.

Download McAfee’s eGuide,“What You Need to Know to Avoid Identity Theft.”

Take five minutes to assess your risk of identity theft. Fill out the Identity Theft Risk Assessment Tool to get your “risk profile.”