Monday, April 9, 2012

Beware of Stolen Identity and Credit card Frauds

The Biggest Crime of the century is Stolen Identity and related frauds. Stolen Identity is a crime in which someone presumes your Identity and can make transactions on your behalf.  Credit Cards are becoming easier to hack by the day. Amidst all this conspiracy, A victim is clueless about what to do if their identity is stolen. We explore more about Identity theft, Its occurrence in the real world scenario and what to do if you are a victim of this malicious crime.

What is Stolen Identity?
 Stolen Identity is the emerging crime in the recent times.  It's relatively easy for a determined thief to steal your name, your UID number, your credit card number, or some other bit of personal information without your knowledge and commit fraud in your name. Unfortunately, You will only get to know of the stolen identity when you receive fake credit card bills, account details which you never opened.

Its not only a major concern in the developed countries but only pose major risks in a developing country like India. We are featuring this post in the "Banking Security Special month" as there is a rising concern about online transactions and credit card frauds. Also most of the stolen identity crimes results in financial frauds and fake transactions. In both way the identity frauds are linked to the financial and banking institutions.

Where do the hackers get your data?
In these scams, thieves use fake emails and Web sites to impersonate legitimate organizations. Likewise,
hackers and viruses can infiltrate your computer to steal data or capture account names and passwords as you type them by using malicious software. Technically, if your credit card is stolen and someone makes a transaction from it, it can count as an Identity theft crime. 
The number of new cases of identity theft is on the rise. This relatively new trend is the result of Internet’s influence on easy information access. According to Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, globally 431 million adults experienced cyber crime in 2011 and more than 1 million plus adults become victims of it every day. As per the report, India is fast emerging as a soft target for organized cyber crime with four in five online adults becoming victims of identity theft in 2011.

How to prevent your identity?
It’s up to you to protect your personal information.
a. Experts recommend that you regularly check your credit report with major credit bureaus, follow up with creditors if your bills do not arrive on time, destroy unsolicited credit applications .
b. Shred paperwork containing account information or personal identifiers.
c. Keep important documents in a locked safe.
d. Pick up and send sensitive mail at the post office.
e. Online identity theft is also a problem.
f. Notorious risks are posed by phishing and spamming.

Some related reads:
Identity theft ( TOI)
Identity theft- A reality in India

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