Identity theft and how to stay clear of it
Identity theft, a term we’ve heard all to often. Identity theft occurs when a person steals your personal information to commit fraud. Surprisingly identity is not a new trick in the book. The scam dates to the 1960s, where the idea began with criminals wanting to escape capture for other crimes, made possible by stealing innocent people’s identity. Years have passed and identity fraud has evolved into organized crime. Sadly, identity fraud is still an ongoing and increasing issue.
Types of identity theft to watch out for
Today the imposters are much more sophisticated in acquiring information about you. The goal for the fraudsters is to gain personal information without authorization, which ultimately results in abuse of the personal information by sharing it with others or using it for financial gain.
There are three most common types of identity theft to look out for:
- Financial identity theft
Financial fraud in relation to identity theft can happen in more ways than one. All in all, financial identity theft is unauthorized access to your financial cards or account information. This can be done through a data breach either via account information or hacking. Financial theft can involve hackers gaining access to your checking or savings account, credit or debit cards, loans, insurance, debt collection just to mentioned a few. If you notice any red flag, it is important to contact your financial institutions immediately. To put this into perspective; financial identity involving credit card fraud resulted in a $4.5 billion loss in 2020. This was a 45% increase compared to 2019.
- Medical identity theft
Medical information theft is another common type of identity fraud. Much like financial theft the objective for the fraudster is to infiltrate your personal information including your name, social security number, health insurance account number amongst other things. The goal for the imposter can e.g., be to get prescription drugs or submit claims with your insurance provider. Approximately 3.5 million people were victims of the largest healthcare data breach in 2021, which can led to misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to keep your medical records and information in a safe place for your eyes only.
- Online identity theft
Online identity theft takes it starting point in your social media accounts – if you have more than one, which is very common in the 21st century. The use of social media has had a rapid increase over the past few years. This also means greater opportunities for hackers to steal identities and commit fraud online. Hackers has become experts at using your online footprint to launch various and skilled cyber-attacks. Some ways to fall victim of online identity theft is by phishing, downloaded malware, fake websites, account takeovers and the list goes on. Once again, the objective is to gain access to your information in order to sell it on the dark web or even extort money from you.
”People with active social media accounts are 30% more likely to become victims of identity fraud than other internet users.”
Needless to say, that identity theft in any form can have fundamental consequences – both in terms of mental health and financial.
Luckily there are many ways to stay safe online – privately and in your professional setup. You can avoid identify fraud imposters using your services and products with the help of ReTrust! Our service allows you to get rid of digital fraud and maintain digital trust with your customers instead. ReTrust secures not only you and your revenue. It also gives your customers a frictionless journey. Reach out to us today and let us help you in protecting your business and customers.
Remember to stay safe and vigilant in your digital journey!