What is Identity Theft and What Can You Do to Help Prevent it?
What Is Identity Theft?
Simply put, Identity
Theft is the theft of personal information for criminal use. Personal information that is typically stolen
includes names, addresses, date of birth, Social Security numbers and
account numbers. Once acquired, this information is used for the benefit
of the hacker at the expense of the person who's identity has been stolen.
For example, a hacker may open new accounts or make large purchases under the stolen identity. Sometimes it takes the victim years to recover; bad credit ratings and
denied credit are but a couple of examples of how the victim suffers.
Types of Identity Theft
Trash Can Identity Theft:
Document Theft - Account Statements, monthly bills and other documents can contain sensitive information that should never be disclosed. Identity thieves can obtain your personal information simply by going through your trash to find these documents. Always shred sensitive documents before disposal.
Computer Based Identity Theft:
Phishing - E-mail's used to hijack usernames, passwords, account numbers and other sensitive information
Example: "Your account is about to expire. Click here to reactivate" Clicking the link redirects you to a bogus web site that solicits personal information. The web site may redirect you back to the legitimate web site.
Vishing - is the voice counterpart to phishing. Instead of being directed by e-mail to a Web site, an e-mail or telephone message asks the user to either make a telephone call or provide your account information. The call triggers a voice response system that asks the user’s card number or other personal or financial information. The initial bait can also be a telephone call with a recording that instructs the user to phone an 800 number or another area code within or outside of the United States.
Spoofing - Links to bogus web sites that impersonate legitimate web sites
Example: The the link http://email@example.com/ will not send you to google.com, it will direct you members.tripod.com instead.
Pharming - Redirecting Web traffic to bogus web sites
Key loggers - Programs that record and send logged keystrokes back to a hacker.
These programs tend to be installed without the users knowledge
Objectives of the Identity Thief
Your account information is used to purchase goods
and services. Victims learn of it when they receive their monthly
The thief uses your account information to open new
accounts under your name using a false address. Victims tend to learn
about this when they request a credit report or apply for credit and
are turned downli>
If You Believe That Your Identity Has Been Stolen or
Federal Credit Union immediately and inform us of the situation. Ask
to place a fraud alert on your account
one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss weather you need
to place a fraud alert on your file:
1 888 766-0008
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
1 888 397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
1 800 680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
all suspicious contacts to the Federal Trade Commission through the
Internet at www.ftc.gov or by calling 1 877 IDTHEFT.
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