The usage of the internet has led to an increase in cybercrime. People who use the internet are urged to educate themselves on various measures to safeguard their personal information.
Many individuals throughout the globe are afraid of identity theft, which is one of the most worrisome forms of cybercrime. A serious crime that may affect everyone is possible because of the ever-increasing amount of information about us.
Then there are some trustworthy parties that can’t be trusted. As part of an identity theft operation, USPS postal couriers are said to have stolen credit cards. As a result, you need to be especially vigilant.
Identity theft is the subject of this essay, which will go into further depth to offer you with all the knowledge you may want.
Be sure to check out our guide on how to be safe while using online dating services, as well as
What exactly is identity theft?
The unauthorised use of a person’s personal and financial information, including their identity, is known as identity theft. This is a common tactic used by fraudsters to imitate someone whose personal information they’ve collected and achieve a financial benefit.
In most cases, fraudsters utilise stolen information to empty bank accounts, access health insurance, collect tax returns and, in other cases, sell information to someone who would profit from it. Every year, more individuals are victims of identity theft.
In the event of a data breach, your personal information is likely to be made public. They then utilise this information to break into numerous databases and take important information hostage for ransom. Regardless of whether the hackers utilise or sell the information they get, the crime of identity theft has been committed.
In certain circumstances, fraudsters use phishing emails or impersonate a real bank, shop, or other company to trick internet users into providing personal information. Afterwards, they deceive consumers into disclosing their private information to them.
Only in 2020 did identity theft cost $56 billion. It’s the biggest total ever recorded, and it’s expected to be broken in 2021.
Your Guide to Internet Safety is also a good resource.
Types of identity theft that are not included here:
It’s possible to discriminate between various types of identity theft since the crime is so widespread.
Identity theft for financial gain:
Banks and other financial organisations are commonly implicated in this kind of identity theft.
Theft of a taxpayer’s identity:
Criminals acquire personal information in order to make a false tax return and do it ahead of time.
Theft of a person’s employment identity
In order to get a job, criminals utilise private information. If you’ve already got a criminal record or bad employment history, you’re more likely to use it.
Theft through taking over an account:
An internet account may be accessed by criminals. Then, they carry out transactions that are not authorised. In addition, the information used to obtain access to other versions might be used against you. Personal data theft is another term for this kind of account takeover fraud.
Theft of a patient’s personal health information:
Culprit utilises personal information to get health care services or to file insurance claims, a violation of privacy. Doctors are unable to give effective treatment for prey and offenders because their medical records are mixed up.
Creating a false identity:
In order to construct a distinct identity, criminals use data from legitimate and fictitious sources. Using a different SSN, name, address, or DOB is common.
Theft of a child’s identity:
As with adults, criminals also look for juvenile IDs. In order to apply for government benefits or a credit card, they gather information from schools or medical facilities.
Identity theft was made illegal:
When being interrogated or arrested, criminals often speak for someone else. Using the incorrect identity may lead to warrants and criminal records being linked to.
Also, check out our guide on how to keep your identity hidden online.
Identity theft warning signals
Bank or credit card data that show transactions that were not authorised by the user.
The information on a person’s credit report is inaccurate.
When you pay your payments on time but don’t use your credit card too much, your credit score drops suddenly.
Contact from international debt collectors through phone calls, emails and letters is common.
Unreceived tax returns confirmed.
Documents relating to taxation from a foreign employer or corporation
Procedures or medicines are listed incorrectly in health insurance plans.
How to avoid being a victim of identity theft
Because most people’s personal and financial information is saved and exchanged online, preventing identity theft may not be practical. The firm or government agency that you provide your personal information to is responsible for protecting it against cybercriminals.
There are certain steps you can take to reduce your chance of identity theft or to identify it early on, even though there are no guarantees.
Protect your private information:
Passports, birth certificates, and other important documents should be stored safely. It’s also important not to save digital versions of these papers in the cloud. It’s possible that the document will be stolen if you leave your account unattended, or if an accident occurs.
Don’t divulge private information:
Don’t reveal secret or sensitive information over social media, text messages, or phone conversations. Verify that the source of any such information is reliable before distributing it to others. A frequent tactic used by attackers is to send phishing emails.
Pay attention to your credit and utility bills:
You’ll be able to identify and correct erroneous claims if you monitor your bills and credit reports on a frequent basis.
Never connect to an unprotected network.
It’s risky to send and receive private information via an unprotected network. You may be under the watchful eye of a snooper. Data may be intercepted or stolen in transit as a result.
You should utilise a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you want to remain anonymous on public networks. As a result of its encryption, data may be sent back and forth without danger of being intercepted. Before you connect to a public network, be sure you have a VPN connection.
This is a heinous act that may have terrible repercussions if committed. You’ll be able to avoid most identity theft efforts if you remain up to date on this issue. Anti-theft programmes and systems aren’t perfect, but they’re among the most effective ways to prevent this unlawful and dangerous action from taking place.