New Identity Theft Threats
Almost 17 million Americans had their identities compromised in 2017, a new record. Cyber criminals are increasingly using new forms of identity fraud, as described in a post by InfoArmor (https://blog,infoarmor.com/employees/data-winners-and-losers-facebook-myheritage-and-you-0?utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin):
Synthetic identity fraud – stealing personal data and using it to build a fake persona, a process that may take years. This type of identity theft may be responsible for 20% of credit losses.
Account takeovers – use a compromised account to open new accounts in victims’ names and use them to make new purchases.
Child identity theft – an estimated one million children had their identities stolen. Children have no credit issues, and until a child grows up they probably will not check their credit information.
There are ways to be proactive against identity theft:
- Use two factor authentication where possible.
- Use identity protection to monitor social media accounts.
- Be aware of phishing schemes; if you don’t know who’s sending you an email don’t click on links or attachments.
- Employers can offer protection plans for their workers whose personal information is in a company database. (Note – some insurers offer plans to small businesses covering only the CEO or major owner. If a company stores employee information this is NOT recommended.)