With all of the creative and technical ways that identity thieves can use to steal your identity, good old common mail theft is still one of the easiest ways for a criminal to steal your personal identifiable information, and use it fraudulently. Unfortunately, mail theft is one of those things we just don’t think much about, with most of us being concerned about online passwords, hackers, phishing email scams and data breaches. These criminals will generally target mail that appears to contain checks or money, but they’re also looking for sensitive information that includes your drivers license number, account numbers and even your social security number. If they get a hold of any of these items, you are likely to be the victim of complete identity theft. The effects of this can be devastating.
Taking the protection of your mail should be a top priority, as it’s one of the places you are most vulnerable to identity theft, yet it’s extremely easy to secure.
Here are some suggestions to avoid having your ID stolen via your mail:
Don’t leave your mail in your home mailbox for the postman to pick up. Instead, take it to the post office. You can also get a locking mailbox, as Barbara did.
Study your bank and credit card statements to make sure all the charges make sense and monitor your credit monthly to ensure no unauthorized accounts have been opened.
To read an personal account of how mail theft leads to identity theft, read this article at abcnews.com.
Types of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud comes in several different forms and even if you don’t currently have any credit cards in your name, you can still become a victim. Criminals are becoming more crafty as they attempt to find ways to steal your credit and use it fraudulently. Here are some of the more common credit card fraud methods that you should familiarize yourself with.
Application fraud: The most common type is the application fraud. Fake or stolen documents are used to open credit card accounts. This is of two types: The card obtained by assuming the identity of someone or by falsifying the financial position to obtain credit.
Assuming the identity of another person is a form of traditional identity theft. The fraudster may create false names and addresses or even steal the identity of an existing person to obtain the card.
Acquiring more credit than entitled, by exaggerating financial position is another common practice. Banks often protect their interests by demanding documents to support the financial claims or by confirming details with the employers.
Stealing: Criminals get hold of your card either by stealing or when you lose it. Postal intercepts are a common form of stealing cards whereby the card is stolen before it reaches the rightful owner by post.
Skimming: This is a type of fraud where the card is cloned or forged without the card owner’s knowledge. The data in the magnetic strip of the card is copied and used. This type of crime is difficult to spot since skimming is exposed only when the next statement is generated. The magnetic strip can be copied by a dishonest employee at the point of sale, with illegal recording devices or by skimming devices installed in cash machines.
Online fraud: Most credit card frauds are committed over the internet. The card details are hacked at the merchant site when being used to make legitimate online purchases. Another common scam is thorough phishing. The phishing sites send out false e-mails or links to fraudulent sites to deceive the card owner to part with card details. These details are then used to make false purchases.
CNP fraud: Purchasing goods on mail order or on telephone without involving a direct seller, where no PIN verification is required, can result in card not present (CNP) fraud. The card details are obtained even from old receipts and since the seller does not verify the PIN number or signature, it becomes difficult to detect such crimes.
BIN attack: Credit cards companies often come under the BIN (Bank Identification Number) attack. Fraudsters generate the last four numbers by obtaining the first six numbers (BIN) of a legitimate card. The cards in the same BIN range have similar data like expiry dates etc.
The key to avoiding such frauds is to be aware and follow safe practices. Always use strong passwords on your internet banking and credit card websites. Do not give secure information on telephone or e-mail. Report a lost card immediately to block any further transaction. Also, consider using a credit monitoring service to keep track of what’s going on with your credit reports. With such simple safe practices, you can ensure that your plastic money is safe.
Unless you live in a remote village on some tropical island, it’s almost 100% likely that you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, identity theft is a harsh reality that we all have to accept and do our best to prevent. But have you ever wondered what’s really going on behind the scenes when your identity is stolen? How many criminals are seeing your social security number or your credit card information? This is a very scary thing to consider. According to an article on CBSNews.com here’s what’s happening to your information after it’s been fraudulently taken.
If your credit card information is stolen as part of a large breach, it’s more likely that your identity and information will be sold at least once as part of a package deal. Along the path to fraudulent purchases your card will be valued based on such factors as whether it is proven to be active (typically with small purchases that may go unnoticed) and whether other information is included — such as passwords, Social Security numbers, and birthdates that make it easier to open new lines of credit in your name.
Once your card information ends up in the hands of the final “user,” the fraudulent action can take many forms. The thief may make a duplicate card, choose to open up fraudulent accounts in your name, or simply use your existing card to buy items that can be resold for cash. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-identity-thieves-do-with-stolen-credit-cards/
Once you find out that your credit card, social security number or some other personal identifiable information has been stolen, you will have to take some corrective and preventative actions. Start by calling your credit card company and let them know what has happened. If any account were opened fraudulently, you’ll need to contact those companies as well so they can close the unauthorized accounts before more charges are made. File police reports and consider placing a freeze on your credit for at least 90 days. This will prevent anyone from running your credit during that time, so no new unauthorized accounts can be opened.
Use a credit monitoring service to stay on top of daily changes to your credit reports. If any new items pop up that you don’t recognize, it’s likely fallout from the credit card or identity theft. In the future, use some of these tips to help keep your personal information safe.
What Is Bank Identity Theft?
Firstly, you will be pleased to hear that this isn’t a situation in which banks try and defraud customers. Though there are occasional reports in the press about rogue members of staff in a bank that are copying customer information to sell on to criminals, it is, thankfully, rare.
It would be reasonable to say that in any position which deals with sensitive information, some people will succumb to the temptation. That is just human nature.
Instead, bank identity theft is generally carried out by criminals who are impersonating a bank. This might be online or by telephone. They are doing this in the hope that the customer will provide details of account numbers, sort codes and passwords to them. The criminals will then use this information to make transfers out of bank accounts and into accounts they have established.
From there, the stolen money will be removed or transferred again and the criminal will disappear. Needless to say, the bank accounts used by the criminals are often established in false identities and in far away countries where it is difficult for the police to investigate.
From the perspective of you, the bank customer, it is vital that you do not give your account information to anyone who calls by telephone and tells you that they are from your bank. At least 99% of all banks in the western world will never call you to do this. If you receive such a call, you are almost certainly being targeted by a fraudster.
If this happens, it is time to get serious about your information security immediately. Check your credit file as soon as you can. It is vital to find out whether other accounts have been opened in your name. You can get a free copy of your credit report or if you use credit monitoring (http://stopidfraud.net/credit-monitoring-services/ ), you can most likely find it on your online dashboard with the company you signed up with.
A Mathematical Certainty
In terms of the internet, this is known as “phishing”. Emails that look like they are from a bank, using an email address that seems to be similar will redirect you to their own website that looks exactly like that of the bank. These websites often have forged security certificates to help them bypass browser security functions. A percentage of people will follow the link and input their bank details to log in.
It is believed that there are actually several hundred thousand of these websites online. They are generally hosted in another country – often a Pacific or Caribbean island – in a corner of the internet that is difficult to regulate. It is widely believed that a significant percentage of all phishing activity originates from Russia.
As far fetched as this may sound, by spamming generic email lists with emails that look to be from major banks, the fraudsters can play a numbers game knowing that a small percentage will follow their process and hand them their information. They are using tried and tested direct marketing techniques for nefarious purposes.
We all know someone who’s been a victim of identity fraud or possibly you are the person you know who’s had their identity stolen. Unfortunately, no matter how much technology gets thrown at this problem, identity theft is still on the rise annually. Giact.com provided us this detailed infographic which outlines the staggering costs of identity theft.
What stands out to me, aside from the $16.8 billion dollars in damages caused by identity theft in 2017, is the rise in synthetic identity theft. The fact that fraudsters can create a new identity out of thin air is staggering and scary. This means your personal identifying information (PII) might be used fraudulently with your real name and identity or a brand new identity using some of your information such as a social security number or credit card number.
Synthetic identity theft cost the credit card industry 6 billion dollars in 2016 and will likely increase for 2018.
So with all of this in mind, what can you do to keep your identity safe? Monitoring your credit and your credit reports is a good start. It’s the first place you’ll notice any abnormal activity such as credit inquiries you didn’t approve or accounts you didn’t personally open.
Keep your information secure. Make sure you only share your PII with trusted sources, especially online. Make sure the websites you visit and submit information on have a green padlock in the browser bar. This means the website is secure, making it more difficult for thieves to steal your information.
Credit card fraud is growing at an alarming rate across the globe and most of them involve online transactions. As a matter of fact, credit card fraud online is expected to increase to billions by 2008, based on the analysis of financial experts. This is quite a worrying statistic considering the detailed research as well as efforts from main credit card companies including MasterCard and Visa to prevent this growing fraud.
Typically, credit card fraud is defined as buying products or services from personnel not associated or connected with particular credit card making the transactions. Thus, the merchants are tricked into releasing merchandises or rendering several services to a false identity. The growth of this kind of fraud is still increasing and expected to grow in the long run.
Credit card fraud is a big problem as well as a dilemma within the society today. To reduce the chances of being a victim of credit card fraud, there are several steps you may consider. Subjects may include securing your bank account information, checking statements, keeping the credit cards safe, and verifying your visa card. Some tips may include not giving your PIN or bank passwords to anyone, throwing your bank statements in the bin without shredding it, and many more.
The most typical method used by criminals is targeting cards and other information in offline shops, unsecured online transactions, and in conversation. If you have a credit card, you should not hand over it to anyone. Keep it out from possible fraudsters and don’t write your PIN number. Keeping your credit card in a safe and secure place is also a good idea.
Majority of mail order, internet, and phone fraud happens because of the reason that one’s card details are stolen. Due to this, don’t let your credit card out of sight and pay importance to it if you don’t want to fall from the criminal’s hands.
Keeping your credit card secure and safe can make a huge difference. But, similar to every consultant, fraudsters are also experts in their field and may acquire information from the smallest chance presented to them. So, check your bank statements regularly. When you get your bank statements, check if there are irregular or unauthorized transactions. If the statement presented such fraudulent transactions, call your credit card company or bank at the soonest date and let them know about the illegal activity.
There are other steps you may consider when avoiding credit card fraud. If you don’t want to suffer from the consequences of being a victim of credit card fraud, never forget to do those steps mentioned above and always ensure that your personal information is protected. Today, there are also some companies offering credit card fraud protection services. Depending on your choice, you can try such services to protect yourself from credit card fraud. But, make sure that your chosen provider is reliable and has a good reputation when it comes to providing such solutions as this can make a huge difference in the long run.
Types of Credit Card Fraud
One of the biggest loss problems in banks is credit card fraud. Usually, these are performed by a group of individuals that use counterfeit credit cards when cheating unsuspecting merchants or in collaboration with the merchants when cheating the banks. These criminals are referred to as fraud syndicates.
There are numerous types of credit card fraud that were identified by several banks. To fight frauds, they are classified into different categories by their natures and these include the following:
Transactions from counterfeit credit cards are one of the largest fraud issues in the industry. It makes up over forty percent of all money lost because of credit card frauds. Syndicates utilized different methods to acquire information to make counterfeit cards. The created illegal counterfeit cards will have every information of the real credit cards in their magnetic stripes. Card skimming is one of the renowned methods wherein information contained on the magnetic stripes of the cards recorded into the chips illegally installed into the EDC machines or by wire-tapping technology.
Lost or Stolen Cards
Stolen and lost cards are the common types of credit card fraud. This kind of fraud is in essence the simplest way for criminals to get hold of the credit cards of anybody without investing in technology. It’s also perhaps the most difficult form of credit card fraud. It is because there’s no absolute solution to this issue. The perfect way to get rid of this is by preventing cards being stolen or lost in the first place. Customers should be educated on how to take good care of their cards. But, getting cardholders to treat their card with respect is not a simple task. This is an issue that was also identified by many governments of various nations.
Fake and Doctored Cards
Another traditional form of credit card fraud is the creation of doctored and fake cards. Whether it be creating fake cards from scratch or altering the existing cards to show various details, fraudsters are constantly searching for more and new innovative ways to make doctored or fake cards.
The simplest way fraudsters can go about tampering with existing cards that they have acquired is to delete the metallic strips with the powerful electro-magnet. They can also tamper the details on the card so they could match the details of the valid card, which they obtained through stealing. When fraudsters use the card, cashiers will swipe cards through the terminal for a few times before realizing that the metallic strips don’t work. Then, the cashiers will proceed to input the card manually into the terminal. This kind of credit card fraud is highly risky as the cashier will be searching at the cards closely to read numbers. But today, doctored cards are considered outdated.
Fake cards are also becoming an outdated type of credit card fraud because many criminals use modern techniques. Yet, there are still some people who consider this kind of fraud, especially those who are just starting to look for credit card fraud victims. To know what’s going on with your credit reports, monitor your credit regularly and keep a close eye on your credit car statements for unauthorized activity.
Learning how to prevent credit card fraud online can be challenging, especially if you’re not using the right tools for to resolve the problem. What makes it much difficult to stop credit card fraud over the internet is that you’re not in the thief’s physical presence. You have no photo IDs to compare to the face behind credit cards and as such, you can depend on effective methods to prevent and detect. Unluckily, technology isn’t foolproof, particular if you’re playing with the false bank identification number database.
You can start preventing credit card fraud by establishing identification. While a lot of people depend on the 3-digit code on the back of your card as a proof that the person utilizing the card actually has the ownership of it, it does not prevent against stolen or lost cards. While bin database purports to stay on card numbers that are used in questionable ways, a lot of them fail to keep their information updated. Keeping databases may cost money and tons of companies would rather consider to inflate their profit margins and will leave you with many charges, instead of pouring in the important resources to operate quality products. Beware of those that undersell their competition severely.
If you are an online business owner, you should always prioritize to invest in a reliable bin database. This is the only way that you will be able to tell if the customer has put holds on the card due to stolen or lost criteria. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you know regarding such measures, even if it’s the responsibility of the customer to report about their lost or stolen card.
Checking your monthly statement is also essential. It can be an old fashioned method, yet it can make a big impact on assessing and finding fraudulent charges. Checking your bank statement monthly can alert you to even insignificant charges that are made by authorized users of your financial information. Bank apps and online banking make it easy for you to check your statement no matter where you are. This may help you keep tabs on the possible credit card fraud. Numerous fraudsters will begin by testing small charges to check if the card really works. Keep an eye on the charges you do not recognize, regardless of how small they are. If you think it’s a bit strange, call your credit card provider at the soonest date.
Investing on the safety of yourself and your business can help you prevent credit card fraud online. With this, you will also provide protection to your loyal customers. There are several practices you may perform to avoid this kind of fraud. Considering those mentioned tips above may also come in handy. Just ensure that you know how to implement them effectively for you to get results in the end. If you can’t protect yourself from credit card fraud, hiring experts or considering an identity protection service from a dependable company like IdentityGuard may also be a wise idea for you.
It’s a new year and that means there’s all sorts of new scams on the horizon especially considering this is an election year in the US and tax season being right around the corner. With new technology being introduced in 2020, this will also likely provide another new avenue for scammers to try and take advantage of you.
Keep an eye out this year for individuals claiming to be from political organizations who are raising funds for the election. Never donate to any political campaign that is solicited via a phone call. 9 times out of 10 this is a scam waiting to happen. Also, be wary of data breaches in 2020. The healthcare industry is ripe for another major data breach, so be proactive and consider an identity theft protection plan, to stay one step ahead of the game.