(Last Updated Oct 5, 2009 @ 3:30 pm EST)
Welcome to first post by Computer’s Savvy’s very own Pochp. If you want to see more visit his blog @ http://pochp.wordpress.com
Identity Theft Explained (Part 2)
If you will view all my posts about Microsoft and Windows, you’ll find that I was very angry at Microsoft. Why? Because my hotmail account was hijacked and at first when I asked for support from Microsoft just when I just started getting suspicious, I was just given the run around again and again. I felt they helped the hijacker!
Actually, this is an update of Seven’s post ‘Identity Theft Explained’. So what is ID theft?
Identity Theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain. This is called Identity Theft. It can start with lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, a data breach, computer virus, phishing, a scam, or paper documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving). This crime varies widely, and can include check fraud, credit card fraud, financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft, and or identity fraud.
Signs of identity theft:
Accounts you didn’t open and debts on credit report or on your accounts that you can’t explain.
Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers.
Failing to receive bills or other mail. Follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has already taken over your account and changed your billing address to try to cover his/her tracks.
Receiving credit cards that you never applied for.
Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a higher interest rate, for what seems like for no apparent reason.
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you never bought.
This was a quote from the Wall Street Journal although I find it pessimistic:
Why Technology Won’t Prevent Identity Theft
“Impersonation isn’t new. In 1556, a Frenchman was executed for impersonating Martin Guerre and this week hackers impersonated Barack Obama on Twitter. It’s not even unique to humans: mockingbirds, Viceroy butterflies, and the brown octopus all use impersonation as a survival strategy. For people, detecting impersonation is a hard problem for three reasons: we need to verify the identity of people we don’t know, we interact with people through “narrow” communications channels like the telephone and Internet, and we want computerized systems to do the verification for us.”
Does this mean that we have to avoid anything electronic to prevent ID theft?
Do you want to know how much your identity costs on the Internet? You can use the Norton Online Risk Calculator to do that for you.
Remember: the risk of your ID being stolen increases day by day.