Does identity theft affect your creditworthiness

What you need to know about identity theft


1 What You Need To Know About Identity Theft

2 Table of Contents Introduction 3 What is Identity Theft? 4 Key facts about identity theft 6 Forms of identity theft 7 Financially motivated identity theft 8 Criminal identity theft and criminal personification 9 Identity theft among children 10 How do the thieves proceed? 11 Online 12 Offline 14 Other Methods 15 How Does Identity Theft Affect You? 16 How can you protect yourself? 19 General recommendations 20 Online 21 Offline 22 What to do in the event of identity theft? 23 Additional information 24 About McAfee 25

3 Introduction When it comes to theft, you are likely thinking about theft of your belongings. To prevent this, you may have equipped your house with an alarm system or deposited your valuables in a safe or safe deposit box. Today, however, you don't just need to protect your property. Modern thieves rely on high tech identity theft to steal your money, take advantage of your creditworthiness and ruin your reputation. Identity theft can affect anyone because the personal data required for it is distributed everywhere and possibly accessible: in databases of online retailers and companies as well as in wallets on sticky notes. In this guide, you will learn how identity thieves go about it and what measures you can take to protect yourself against them. 3

4 What is Identity Theft? Identity theft (or identity fraud) occurs when someone steals personal information and uses that information to create a false identity for their own benefit. This information may include your name, driver's license and ID card numbers, and bank account and credit card numbers. The criminals may be after your finances, gaining access to your accounts and credit cards, or they may want to take advantage of your reputation to gain employment or commit a crime on your behalf.

5 With your personal information, thieves can open a credit card account and use it to shop, create fake checks on your account number or even apply for official documents such as a driver's license or passport on your behalf. In an emergency, you not only lose money, but also risk your creditworthiness or your chances of getting a job through the damaged reputation. In particularly severe cases, expect to be arrested instead of the thief. In most cases, it takes a long time for victims to even realize that their identity has been misused. At this point the thief is long gone. This is why identity theft is so easy and it is so difficult for the judiciary to apprehend the thieves. FACT: An identity is stolen every three seconds.1 1 ebpage on protection against identity theft, W 5

6 Key Facts About Identity Theft According to the 2010 Javelin Identity Theft Report, 11.1 million adults were victims of identity theft in the United States, 12 percent more than in 2008 and 37 percent more than in 2008, US Americans suffered casualties equal to the amount of losses they suffered of $ 54 billion from identity theft. 3 The average loss per victim is around US dollars. 4 For victims who only noticed the identity theft after more than six months, the follow-up costs were four times higher than the average. 5 From 2005 to 2009, corporate data breaches affected the personal and financial information of more than 500 million consumers. Even with their own security measures, consumers cannot protect themselves from these incidents. 6 victims spent an average of 58 hours repairing damage to existing accounts and an average of 165 hours repairing damage caused by new, fraudulent accounts percent of identity thefts were through a stolen wallet, checkbook, credit card, bank statement, or a different physical document. 8 2 Javelin Research & Strategy: 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report (report on the 2010 survey on identity fraud) 3 ibid. 4 ibid. 5 Identity Theft Resource Center: Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2008 (Identity Theft: The Impact in 2008) 6 7 Identity Theft Resource Center: Identity Theft: The Aftermath ibid. 6

7 Forms of Identity Theft While most people think of stolen credit cards and banking information when thinking of identity theft, there are many forms of identity theft that affect other important areas of your life, such as: B. Your finances, your reputation, and your child's creditworthiness. The following describes the different forms of identity theft so you can better understand how you can protect yourself and your family from it.

8 Financially Motivated Identity Theft In financially motivated identity theft, thieves attempt to access your money or credit line with the stolen personal information. This is the most common form of identity theft as it is very lucrative and often difficult to track down. The following problems can arise from financially motivated identity theft: Unauthorized charges to your credit card Thieves who steal your credit card or view your bank statements in order to access your data can practically take over and charge your credit card account. Criminals can also gain access to your account by intercepting new credit cards that you receive in the mail or by applying for a new card with your personal information. If the thieves don't balance the charges on your account, it can have a negative impact on your creditworthiness, especially if it takes you a while to find out about your data being stolen. Bad Credit If thieves use your personal information to take out a loan, or purchase goods and services without paying the bills, it can affect your creditworthiness. 8th

9 Criminal identity theft and criminal personification Criminal identity theft (or criminal personification) occurs when a thief impersonates his victim and poses as his victim. Thieves can provide your driver's license number, date of birth or ID card number during an investigation or arrest. Alternatively, the scammers can produce a forged ID that contains your details. Criminal identity theft poses the following dangers: Criminal records If an identity thief commits a crime and gives your name to the law enforcement authorities, you can expect entries in the criminal record or requests for arrest against you. It can even lead to you being arrested. Traffic offenses or arrest warrants If a thief steals your driver's license and commits a traffic offense, he can show your documents to the police. If they don't pay the tickets or don't appear in the traffic court, expect hefty fines and even an arrest warrant. 9

10 Child Identity Theft There is a growing trend among identity thieves to steal the identity of children and even infants, as children's records are without official records and it usually takes years for the theft to be discovered. In many cases, the first time victims discover identity theft is the first time they want to get a contract, such as a cell phone, and credit is checked. The dangers of identity theft among children are as follows: Damaged creditworthiness If many years pass before identity theft is discovered, it can be very difficult to restore creditworthiness. Liability for income tax If the thief carries out a job that is subject to social security contributions with the stolen identity of a child, the child can be held liable for the income tax incurred. FACT: Identity Theft Resource Center reports that more than half (54%) of these crimes are committed against children under the age of six at the time of the crime.9 9 US Identity Theft microsite - American Federal Trade Commission FTC 10

11 What do the thieves do? Identity theft is a growing problem. Hence, you should know how thieves can steal your identity. Unfortunately, they work with numerous tricks from old-fashioned methods like stealing your wallet and searching your trash to high-tech methods like data compromise and fraudulent s. Below we outline some of the most common methods that scammers use to steal your confidential information for you Can take precautionary measures.

12 Online phishing Phishing scams are spam s from Internet criminals that appear to come from a legitimate person or organization and are trying to get personal information from you. For example, cybercriminals send one that appears to be from a bank asking you to verify your account information. To do this, you should click on a link that will take you to a fake website. There you should enter your bank account username and password. Phishing is one of the most common forms of cyber crime. The thieves are constantly updating and changing their fraudulent s to deceive you. Pharming In a pharming attack, a hacker installs malicious code on your personal computer that sends you to fake websites without your knowledge. For example, you will be redirected to a fraudulent shopping website where you are asked to enter your payment information. Spim Spim is spam sent via instant messaging (IM). The IMs can contain spyware, keyloggers, viruses, and links to phishing websites. Spyware This is software that is secretly installed on your computer by hackers and that either gathers personal information, redirects you to fake websites, changes your settings, or otherwise takes control of your computer. 12th

13 Keylogger A keylogger is a form of spyware that records your keystrokes. The information you enter is saved in a file that the hackers can access. When you surf the web or visit banking and ecommerce websites, a keylogger can record your account and password information. These can then be misused by the hacker to access your credit card or bank accounts or to steal your identity. Trojans A trojan is a seemingly harmless but actually malicious program. If you accidentally download a Trojan from the Internet, it could allow hackers to access your computer from anywhere. This gives them the ability to access the files on your computer and even monitor your screen activities. Social Networking Websites Social networking websites have grown rapidly in popularity. It is easy to forget that the information posted is not only available to your own circle of friends, but also to outsiders. Fraudsters can use details such as name, date of birth, contact details and employer to gather the information necessary for identity theft. FACT: Internet scam theft of personal information is reaching an unprecedented high. 10 Wardriving Thieves also use a technique called wardriving to steal personal information. They drive around the area and look for unprotected WiFi networks. If your home network is unsecured, the hackers can access the data on all computers connected to the wireless router, as well as the data you enter on online banking and credit card websites. 10 US Federal Trade Commission FTC 13 identity theft microsite

14 Offline Trash / Trash Criminals rummage through urban trash looking for financial documents and records that contain confidential information. The thieves can use the documents they found while rummaging through the trash to change your address and redirect bank statements so you don't notice the identity theft. Theft of Wallets and Checkbooks Theft of wallets and checkbooks is one of the oldest methods of all, which is because it is so successful. Many people not only have their driver's license with them at all times, but also their identity card, credit cards, and EC or bank cards. They provide thieves with all the information they need to fake an identity. FACT: In 42 percent of all identity theft cases, victims reported that the fraudster was a friend, family member, former significant other, or someone close to them, such as a friend. B. was a colleague. 11 Theft of information from apartments and houses We tend to leave bills and confidential documents lying around openly at home. It is often forgotten that this gives family members, visitors, domestic helpers and craftsmen unhindered access to this information. Address Fraud Criminals can also easily change your address, redirect your mail to a different address, stealing your confidential information and taking control of your bank or credit card accounts. Look over the shoulder criminals can get your PIN or password by simply looking over your shoulder while using an ATM or computer. If you give the credit card number or personal information to a legitimate operator over the phone, they can easily overhear the conversation. In any case, he now has enough data on hand to cause serious damage. 11 US Federal Trade Commission FTC identity theft microsite 14

15 Other Vishing / SMiShing Methods Vishing and SMiShing work in the same way as phishing. The difference, however, is that vishing is done by phone and SMiShing is fraud through SMS messages. In both cases, s are often used. In the case of vishing scams, you will receive a phone call supposedly from your bank informing you of suspicious account activity. You should then reconcile account details over the phone. In the case of a SMiShing scam, you will receive a link to a malicious website or a phone number that will launch an automated voice response system that will ask for your personal information. In this case, the scam has a vishing component. Skimming If you insert your debit card into a compromised device or swipe the credit card through a compromised card reader, you can become a victim of a fraud known as skimming. With skimming, the hackers illegally gain access to the information stored in the magnetic strip on the back of your credit or debit card. With this information, they can then access your accounts or create fake credit cards that contain your name and details. Corporate data compromise Companies such as healthcare providers, insurance companies or online retailers store large amounts of confidential customer information. If unauthorized persons gain access to this data, the personal and financial background of their customers can be compromised. FACT: Tampering with ATMs results in more than $ 8.5 billion in damage to consumers and businesses in the US each year.12 15th

16 How does identity theft affect you? In contrast to the theft of a pocket watch or stereo system, identity theft can have serious consequences that are associated with great expenditure of time and money and also leave their mark on an emotional level. Below we show how identity theft can affect your life and your future.

17 Financial loss The most obvious loss is of course the financial one. If criminals have access to your bank, savings, or investment accounts, they can empty your accounts. Damaged creditworthiness If criminals provide billing addresses that do not match yours when creating fraudulent accounts, they can withdraw money without your knowledge. If these charges are not cleared, the fake accounts will show up on your credit history. You may not even realize your creditworthiness has been hit until you are denied proposed financing for a car or mortgage. Bad creditworthiness is especially dangerous when it occurs in children whose identity has been stolen. In such cases, it can take years before victims first have to prove their creditworthiness and find that their creditworthiness is ruined.Loss of Legal Claims Identity thieves are often interested in information beyond bank account numbers, such as: B. Date of birth, address and ID card number. With these details, they can apply for a driver's license, get benefits and even gain employment on your behalf. 17th

18 Criminal records Even if it seems far-fetched, if criminals steal your identity and thus commit crimes, you can be prosecuted for it. If the scammers get official ID with your details and are subsequently arrested for a wrongdoing, you will be charged. Even if the criminals break the rules or fail to appear in court, they are in no danger because the authorities will contact you. Worst of all: You will only find out about the alleged offenses if you are arrested at a police checkpoint or if you do not get a job because your certificate contains negative entries. FACT: For 70 percent of the victims, it was difficult or impossible to have negative entries deleted. In many cases it takes a long time to find out about identity theft. Considerable damage can occur during this time. Before you know it, you may face multiple fraud charges, negative credit reports, and other difficulties that can take a significant amount of time and money to resolve. In the end, you spend countless hours washing your name in with companies and authorities. You may even need to seek assistance from a credit recovery service provider. Even then, it can take years to completely repair the damage to your reputation

19 How can you protect yourself?

20 General Recommendations Problem Awareness and Education Understanding the tricks and scams used by thieves to target your personal information can go a long way in preventing identity theft. Be very careful who you trust with your personal information. Keep up to date with the latest scam methods. Common sense Keep private information under lock and key. When a person requests a website or your personal information, ask yourself whether this information is really needed and is what it is usually asked for. Common sense makes you realize that your bank would never ask you for confirmation of your account number, username and password, or information such as your ID card number. Pay attention to your surroundings Keep an eye on your surroundings. Watch out for bystanders when you make purchases on the phone, enter your PIN at the ATM, enter your credit card details when shopping online or send personal information via SMS. Never send your credit card or bank account details via. 20th

21 Online Online Protection When you browse the Internet, you should use a comprehensive security suite like McAfee Total Protection, which not only protects against viruses, spyware, and other current threats, but also offers secure search technology to keep you safe from fake ones Websites that target your personal information are preserved. Protect your data with a firewall that prevents unauthorized access to your computer or the network. Use strong passwords Passwords should be at least 10 characters long and consist of a combination of numbers, numbers, and special characters. You should also change your passwords regularly to make it more difficult for thieves to guess and misuse this data. Do not share your passwords with anyone, including friends or relatives. Surfing Safely at Public Hotspots If you use a publicly accessible computer or access the Internet through a public hotspot or an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, do not log into any online banking or credit card websites. If possible, access the Internet from home using a secure network. Securing your WiFi network Prevent wardriving by activating the firewall in your router and changing the administrator password. For ease of setup and configuration, most routers ship with a default username and password. However, these basic settings are usually also known to hackers. You can also change the default identification of your router with which it reports to other devices in the immediate vicinity, and only allow access from other computers or devices that you have previously specified. Please refer to your router's user manual for instructions on how to change the default settings. 21

22 Offline Real-time checking of your bank statements Check your credit card and bank statements every month to make sure that no fraudulent charges have been made and that all transactions have been authorized by you. Document Destruction To prevent thieves from finding personal information in your trash, you should shred important documents such as bank statements, credit card offers and expired identification documents. Securing Your Documents Keep personal documents in lockable compartments, cabinets or safes at home, and keep valuable financial documents such as stock certificates with your bank. Monitoring Your Account Movements Since it can take you a long time to discover that you have been a victim of identity theft, monitor your account movements to find previously unknown accounts or fraudulent transactions. There are numerous websites that display your credit status for free, as well as payment services that you can use to monitor your creditworthiness. Using a Protection Service Identity protection services help protect your identity by monitoring your creditworthiness and providing proactive protection, such as: B. by sending notifications when new accounts are opened under your name. These services are usually offered for a monthly fee that includes free access to your bank statements. 22nd

23 What to do in the event of identity theft? If you discover that you have been the victim of identity theft, you must act immediately. 1. Notify credit reporting agencies and issue a fraud warning. Call the credit reporting agency's fraud department and tell them about the situation. There they can set up fraud alerts for your account so that lenders must get your permission before they can expand your credit line. 2. Report to the police. If you know you have been a victim of identity theft, report it to the nearest police station, where they will keep a list of fraudulent accounts. Keep a copy of the report so you can give lenders and other stakeholders the number of the officer involved in the case when asked to confirm the identity theft. 3. Contact financial institutions and companies with which you have accounts or loyalty cards with payment functions that could be affected. Call your bank and lenders to inform them of the situation and report fraudulent charges or transfers. Then submit this information again in writing. Check that the transactions have been reversed and, if necessary, cancel the account. Keep copies, document conversations, and keep records of the theft. 4. Set up a credit lock. You can prevent thieves from opening new accounts on your behalf by blocking your entry with the credit reporting agency in your country. If a thief tries to open a new account, he will not be given credit because the prospective lender or financial service provider cannot query your status. (Please note that not every country will be able to block your listing.) 5. Seek legal assistance or contact identity recovery professionals. If you feel overwhelmed by the damage caused, it can make sense to seek legal assistance to help you deal with collection agencies, credit bureaus, and lenders. Identity recovery professionals can also help resolve the problem. For example, you can contact the McAfee Cybercrime Response Unit. Get free advice on what to do in the event of identity theft. 23

24 Additional Information Here are some websites that can give you background information on identity theft and fraud and how to protect against it. Identity theft information McAfee Cybercrime Response Unit Identity Theft Resource Center Federal Trade Commission Phishing Anti-Phishing Working Group Fraudwatch International Identity Theft Assistance Center Consumer protection organization Privacy Right Clearinghouse 24

25 For more information and tips on computer and internet security, visit the McAfee Security Advice Center at About McAfee McAfee (NYSE: MFE) is the world's largest dedicated IT security specialist. The company, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is dedicated to answering the most demanding security challenges. McAfee supplies its customers with preventive, tried-and-tested solutions and services that protect computers and ICT networks around the world from attacks and enable users to safely connect to the Internet and move around the World Wide Web. With the support of an award-winning research department, McAfee develops innovative products that help private users, companies and government agencies to protect their data, comply with relevant laws, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities and continuously monitor and improve the security of their systems. Further information about McAfee can be found at: McAfee GmbH Ohmstr Unterschleissheim Germany +49 (0) The information contained here is provided to McAfee customers for training purposes only. The information contained herein is subject to change at any time without notice and is provided as is, with no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or applicability of the information for a particular purpose or for a particular situation. McAfee, the McAfee logo, and McAfee Total Protection are either registered trademarks or trademarks of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and / or other countries. All other names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The product data, specifications and descriptions mentioned here are provided for informational purposes only and without express or tacit guarantee and can be changed at any time without prior notice. Copyright 2010 McAfee, Inc. 6665gde_Identity-theft_0410