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Thread: Identity Theft Primarily Low Tech

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Identity Theft Primarily Low Tech

    An article in the March 31, 2003 Detroit Free Press discussed Identity Theft. Many people are paranoid about e-commerce, online shopping and online banking or they fear filing their taxes electronically because they are concerned that there identity (social security number, credit card numbers, etc.) could be hacked and stolen.

    Identity theft is soaring, thanks to high-tech tools, light penalties and widespread publicity.

    Crooks are stealing honest people's personal information and racking up credit card bills in their names, opening dozens of new accounts and ruining in days sterling credit ratings that took years to build.
    The article goes on to say though that most identity theft is still done low tech- digging through trash for old credit card statements, stealing wallets and purses, etc.

    Yet studies show that in cases where victims knew how their identity was stolen, the No. 1 cause was having their purse or wallet swiped. Experts say in the rest of the cases, the majority of crooks get their information through a job or an insider connection. Buying or selling items online falls far down the list.
    Of course, there are still the BIG hacks that make the news- 5 million credit cards stolen, AOL's customer data hacked. I think the big difference is that when someone goes through the trash or steals a wallet they get ONE identity. When someone figures out how to hack a major retailer's database they get thousands or millions of identities to steal- credit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.

    Here is the full article: Free Press

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanks, nice article! I think the majority of people who worry about online identity theft is minimal. It is the sensationalism the press can get out of it that creates the arena of fear and dread when using e-commerce. Let me give you a qucik example; I used google to lookup the site for a local television station, for a weather report. the heading over the url read"sexual predators, see if there is one in your neighborhood." I wrote to the station to complain about the cheap tactics to get more "hits" on their site and told them I would make sure our local schools were notified that the stations site might need to be marked age appropriate. Their response was," maybe you just better calm down and see if there is one on your street". The college I attended used the email, original and response, as a lesson on what sells news.
    The situation is similiar to the one you posted, create an aura of fear around using the 'net and people will pay attention and our advertisers will pay us. enough of this.....
    the only way to fix it is to flush it all away-tool

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    a good point is, when someone steals one identity, not only do you realize that your wallet is gone, the criminal is in a race against time. how much can they spend before you call visa to cancel. when you have five million people's accounts, unless you have a good size operation running, you'll probably use no more than .001% (500). keep in mind that everytime they use a stolen credit card, they have to take extra precaution to not reveal who they are. Anything's possible, but the best way is to keep track of your crap. If you suddenly realize your CC gone, call the number, don't just assume you 'll find it later. Also, and this is important, ACTUALLY LOOK AT YOUR BILL. don't just assume it's right. if you suddenly realize that when you were on vacation in the bahamas someone rang up rims and tires at your hometown sears, something is wrong, even if you still have your card (this actually happened to me)

    one of the best ways to avoid identity theft-pay attention
    i\'m starting to think that i\'m bound to always be the first guy on the second page of the thread.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Though with as much as people try to resist doing online ordering, it's becoming the way of the future. Plus a lot of the "older" people are being "phased" out and the new generation does everything online. As always though, security gets better and better every day, though sometimes they are still a week behind the BIG hackers. Personally I think there needs to be a different way online transactions are done, but that's a whole other post in itself.
    [shadow]There is no right and wrong, only fun and boring...
    Formatting my server because someone hacked into it sounds pretty boring to me...
    That\'s why it\'s all about AntiOnline.com!

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