Identity Theft Scams


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Identity theft is a crime used to refer to fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else in order to steal money or get other benefits. This presentation, by National City Police Investigator Di Zinno, contains useful information and tips for preventing identity theft.

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  • Identity Theft Scams

    1. 1. Identity Theft: A Matter of When Not If © September 2008
    2. 2. Tom Di Zinno/NCPD Investigations 336-4473
    3. 3. What is Personal Identifying Information? <ul><li>Social Security Numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Driver’s license numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Address, phone numbers, date of birth </li></ul><ul><li>Birth Certificate information </li></ul><ul><li>Mother’s maiden name, other family information </li></ul><ul><li>Financial account numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Biometric information on an individual </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Info </li></ul>
    4. 4. Identity Theft: The Classic View <ul><li>Identity theft occurs when an imposter gains access to personal identifying information (PII) and uses it for financial gain: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New lines of credit, loans, and mortgages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New accounts, account takeover, checking/debit fraud </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tenancy and utilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Billing and Identity </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Identity Theft: The Big Picture <ul><li>Identity theft also occurs when an imposter gains access to personal identifying information and uses it for: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs, employment, contracts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Government accounting issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Government support services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoidance of arrest and criminal records </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical services </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Everyone is Vulnerable <ul><li>15 million victims a year (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Identity Theft is a Dual Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of Identity Theft </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American households: $6 billion/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total fraud loss: $56.6 billion/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average fraud loss: $6,383/per case </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Who are these Thieves? <ul><li>Narcotics users or sellers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notable connection to Meth Addicts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Organized crime </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunists </li></ul><ul><li>Desperate people – Desperate actions </li></ul><ul><li>Family members or someone close to you </li></ul>
    8. 8. How Thieves Obtain Information <ul><li>Lost/Stolen wallets </li></ul><ul><li>Mail theft </li></ul><ul><li>Dumpsters </li></ul><ul><li>Shoulder surfing </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone solicitations </li></ul><ul><li>“ Phishing” and scams </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of computer security / Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Areas beyond your control </li></ul><ul><li>Data breaches </li></ul>
    9. 9. NIGERIAN SCAMS <ul><li>Mystery Shopper </li></ul><ul><li>Overpayment Scam </li></ul><ul><li>Romance Scam </li></ul><ul><li>Lottery Scam </li></ul><ul><li>419 Scam </li></ul><ul><li>FBI Scam </li></ul>
    10. 10. Phishing Scams <ul><li>Email or Telephone alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Your account has been terminated/put on hold etc </li></ul><ul><li>Directs you to a website or phone bank </li></ul><ul><li>Asks for you to confirm info </li></ul>
    11. 11. “Phishing” Email <ul><li>From: Chase Bank [ </li></ul><ul><li>Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 1:00 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Subject: Important : Chase Bank customer service Message </li></ul><ul><li>< </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Chase OnlineSM Customer: </li></ul><ul><li>A message regarding &quot;Re: Credit Card - Update Profile User&quot; has been sent to our Secure Message Center. </li></ul><ul><li>To see your message: </li></ul><ul><li>* follow this link to Log on to Chase Online. < ru /secure_membin_Chaseonline_email_id43432gjg98982beh32k9878e.htm> Once you log on, you can see your new message and Update Profile in the Secure Update Center. </li></ul><ul><li>* Please fill in the required information. This is required for us to continue to offer you a safe and risk free environment.. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for being a valued Chase customer. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Pharming Scams <ul><li>Web Based </li></ul><ul><li>False Web Site </li></ul><ul><li>False Search Engine info </li></ul><ul><li>May be preceeded by Phishing </li></ul><ul><li>LEARN TO READ URL </li></ul><ul><li>LOOK FOR ENCRIPTION </li></ul><ul><li>MODIFY SEARCHS </li></ul>
    13. 13. Mortgage Scams <ul><li>FICO Score Sites </li></ul><ul><li>Loan Modification </li></ul><ul><li>Foreclosure Prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Foreclosure Prevention Products </li></ul><ul><li>Brokers </li></ul>
    14. 14. Insurance Scams <ul><li>Free Medical Tests </li></ul><ul><li>Free Medical Products </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap Prescriptions </li></ul>
    15. 15. SCIMMING <ul><li>Primarily Aimed at your Debit Card </li></ul><ul><li>Gasoline Retailers </li></ul><ul><li>Restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>Retailers </li></ul><ul><li>Now Taken over by Organized Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Use Gift/Green Dot Cards </li></ul>
    16. 16. Put Your Wallet on a Diet <ul><li>Don’t carry your SSN card with you </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize number of credit cards </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t carry children’s SSN’s </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize pieces of ID which carry SSN </li></ul>
    17. 17. CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR <ul><li>Id’s </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Check books </li></ul><ul><li>Old Receipts </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Records </li></ul>
    18. 18. Protect Your Checkbook <ul><li>Don’t put your Social Security number on your checks </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t carry blank checks or deposit slips </li></ul><ul><li>Use specialized pens when writing out checks </li></ul><ul><li>Shred all unused or old checks </li></ul><ul><li>Only use checks with merchants you know </li></ul><ul><li>Use ATM card when possible </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor your monthly statements carefully </li></ul>
    19. 19. Debit or Credit? <ul><li>Debit Cards = Your Money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash removed immediately from an existing account </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited time to report loss or unauthorized use of card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If loss is not reported, greater risk of losing all funds in account </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Credit Cards = Their Money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows consumers to buy goods and services on credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater protection from fraud loss if reported within 60 days </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Protect Your Mail <ul><li>Go to a U.S. Post Office when mailing bills or other important documents </li></ul><ul><li>Use a locked mailbox to send and receive all mail </li></ul><ul><li>Never leave mail unattended for pickup </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor your mail for the regular items you receive </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t utilize a community outbox (i.e. at work) </li></ul>
    21. 21. Shred, Destroy and Opt-Out <ul><li>Cross-cut shred papers you throw out, especially those with personal identifying information </li></ul><ul><li>Destroy pre-approved credit offers by shredding </li></ul><ul><li>Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers </li></ul><ul><li>(888-5OPT-OUT) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Shoulder Surfing and Telephone Solicitations <ul><li>Never provide SSN to anyone unless they have a good reason for needing it. Watch for eavesdroppers and ask for privacy when conducting financial business. </li></ul><ul><li>Never provide personal information during a phone call which you did not initiate. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Safeguard Your Computer <ul><li>Keep Firewall, Antivirus, and Anti-Spyware software updated, automatically is best </li></ul><ul><li>Popup Blockers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pop-ups are a perfect place to plant a virus or Trojan program. You never know who wrote the program, or that person’s intent. If you don’t know the supplier, do not allow it to run or install! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be aware of risks of malware </li></ul>
    24. 24. Defend Against Social Networking <ul><li>Myspace, Facebook, YouTube </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep personal information PERSONAL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember these are not your friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question profiles – presume they may be false </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs and Chat Rooms can be used as a way to find out more about you, for criminal purposes </li></ul>
    25. 25. On-Line / Internet Experience <ul><li>Use secure web sites for financial transactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paying bills on line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing financial accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implement password protection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This includes your user accounts, wireless routers, online accounts, and perhaps even stored spreadsheets that are private </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Peer-to-Peer Safeguards <ul><li>These are programs like Limewire, Kazaa, SoulSeek. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not store personal or financial information on the same computer you use for file sharing. </li></ul><ul><li>Check the security preferences for the program you are using. See if you can set it so that only designated folders can be accessed by the file sharing program. </li></ul><ul><li>Look into encrypting personal and vital information. Some newer computers come with this function already built in. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Areas Beyond Your Control <ul><li>Areas beyond your control: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any database where your personal information is on file </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An employee who processes a purchase you make and steals the information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A company that handles your financial data </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Data Breaches <ul><li>ITRC Breach Data as of 12/31/07: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>446 breaches affecting more than 127 million individual records </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ITRC Breach Data as of 10/1/2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>516 breaches affecting more than 30.3 million records </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Be Pro-Active Order Credit Reports <ul><li>Order free credit reports </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>877-322-8228 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Stagger requests </li></ul><ul><li>Review credit reports carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Review monthly bank and credit card statements or review account transactions online </li></ul>
    30. 30. Extra Precaution Place a Credit Freeze <ul><li>Consider the possibility of placing a credit freeze on your credit file </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assist elderly family members in placing them on their credit files </li></ul></ul><ul><li>See How to “Freeze” Your Credit Files: </li></ul>
    31. 31. If a Victim, First Steps <ul><li>Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports </li></ul><ul><li>Close Affected Accounts </li></ul><ul><li>File a Police Report </li></ul><ul><li>Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the ITRC </li></ul>
    32. 32. Negative Trends <ul><li>San Diego’s # 1 crime: Vehicle break ins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stealing items which can be used to commit identity theft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data on the move – laptops or flash drives </li></ul><ul><li>Insider theft - by employees or others </li></ul><ul><li>Scams </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of information -children and the deceased </li></ul>
    33. 33. Predictions <ul><li>Negative: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More cases linked to Meth use/dealing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Large scale ID brokering worldwide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More sophisticated attacks and development of identity theft rings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Younger thieves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Positive: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New policing and legislative solutions </li></ul></ul></ul>
    34. 34. The Bottom Line <ul><li>The only successful way to fight identity theft will be with a team approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Each of us has to be more vigilent </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses, law enforcement, governmental agencies, legislators and consumers must combine their efforts to stem the growth of identity theft. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Questions