Id Theft


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The how and why behind ID Theft and what can we do to minimize its impact.

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  • Let me show you the security features that most Internet browsers have. These images are from Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6. A truly secure site’s address will begin with httpS because of a special encoding format used by secure sites. In the lower right corner, a closed padlock will be displayed on a secure site. If the padlock does not appear, it’s not a secure site. If you double-click the padlock icon, the website owner’s Security Certificate will appear. You can check to make sure the certificate belongs to the same name as the website, or is not radically different. Now, if the website says it’s secure and is not, take a look at what your browser will look like. There is no “https” and no padlock appears. If that’s the case, be very suspicious of an unsecure website that claims to be secure.
  • Id Theft

    1. 1. Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud Minnesota Attorney General's Office 1400 Bremer Tower 445 Minnesota Street St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 296-3353 1-800-657-3787 TTY: (651) 297-7206 TTY: 1-800-366-4812
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>What is Identity Theft? </li></ul><ul><li>What information is stolen? </li></ul><ul><li>Types of identity theft </li></ul><ul><li>How they obtain your information </li></ul><ul><li>How you can protect yourself </li></ul><ul><li>What to do if you are a victim </li></ul>
    3. 3. What is Identity Theft <ul><li>America’s fastest growing type of robbery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers lost $50 billion last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated 9.9 million victims in America </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thieves steal personal information about you </li></ul><ul><li>Spend money as fast as they can </li></ul><ul><li>Move on to impersonate someone else </li></ul>
    4. 4. Personal Information <ul><li>What do the thieves want? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your name, address and date of birth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Security number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Driver’s License number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credit Card numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ATM cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone calling cards </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Dumpster Diving: Trash or Treasure <ul><li>What’s in Your Trash? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-approved credit card offers – they complete the application and have card sent to them at another address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loan applications – they complete the application and have money sent to a phony address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bank statements – they now have your bank account numbers. They create bogus checks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checks – They create duplicate bogus checks </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. ATM Fraud Scheme <ul><li>Plastic strip placed into card insert </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Machine cannot read the card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Machine continuously asks for PIN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thief nearby watches PIN being entered over and over </li></ul><ul><li>Victim thinks ATM is broken and has the card </li></ul><ul><li>Thief removes card and enters PIN </li></ul>
    10. 10. IRS Tax Form Scam <ul><li>“ IRS form” received from your bank, requesting sensitive information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SSN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DOB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bank account numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PIN numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Form is similar to real IRS forms </li></ul><ul><li>Created and sent by an identity thief </li></ul><ul><li>Once faxed to the number provided, thief has info to clean out your bank accounts </li></ul>
    11. 13. Department Store Scam <ul><li>Purchase made using a credit card </li></ul><ul><li>Phone next to register rings </li></ul><ul><li>Caller is “store security” – says you are a suspect in a credit card fraud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs clerk to verify credit card information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May ask clerk to get address and SSN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Call came from thief on a cell phone watching nearby </li></ul>
    12. 14. DON’T CASH THAT CHECK <ul><li>Counterfeit bank checks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thief uses same tools - computer program and blank check stock to create fake bank checks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locates item being offered for sale - either online or in a publication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offers to buy, sends check for substantially more than agreed-upon price </li></ul></ul>
    13. 15. DON’T CASH THAT CHECK <ul><li>Consumer deposits the fake check </li></ul><ul><li>Bank can’t immediately tell if it’s fake on its face </li></ul><ul><li>Bank which “issued” check will eventually identify the check as fake, and will not pay </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer has to reimburse his/her bank the entire amount of the check </li></ul>
    15. 17. Skimming Scam <ul><li>Waiter in a restaurant takes your credit or debit card at the end of the meal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses a small hand-held electronic device (called a “skimmer”) to swipe your card </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only takes a second </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your card information is stored in the skimmer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thief makes counterfeit card, or makes purchases over the phone or Internet </li></ul>
    16. 18. On-Line Fraud-ID Theft <ul><li>Unlike the frauds and thefts we have been discussing, these take place entirely via computer </li></ul><ul><li>“Crackers,” viruses, spyware, “phishing,” “pharming”are threats </li></ul><ul><li>All can result in identity theft </li></ul>
    17. 19. CON ARTISTS IN CYBER SPACE <ul><li>The top dollar loss complaint involved an auction fraud and totaled $30,340.00. </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail is a simple and inexpensive way to perpetrate frauds. </li></ul>
    18. 20. “Crackers” <ul><li>Other computer users who try to gain access to your hard drive remotely over the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Passwords, encryption, a firewall, use of a dynamic IP address can make their lives more difficult </li></ul>
    19. 21. “Phishing” Scam <ul><li>You get an email that looks like it comes from your bank, credit card company, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Asking you to “update their records” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May be due to potential fraud, other reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides a hyperlink to a web page where you enter your personal information </li></ul><ul><li>The link takes you to a thief’s website that is disguised to look like the company’s. </li></ul>
    20. 22. “Phishing” Email
    21. 23. “Phishing” Email
    22. 24. “Phishing” Email Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.6713); Wed, 26 Apr 2006 20:59:24 -0400 Received: from by ; Wed, 26 Apr 2006 19:52:16 -0600 Message-ID: <> From: &quot;; <> Reply-To: &quot;; <> To: Subject: IMPORTANT Alert In Your PayPal® File Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:53:16 -0200 X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2462.0000 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=&quot;--348709423130884412442&quot; X-Priority: 1 X-MSMail-Priority: High Return-Path: X-OriginalArrivalTime: 27 Apr 2006 00:59:24.0268 (UTC) FILETIME=[D34C62C0:01C66995]
    23. 25. Email sent to me <ul><li>About Your Payment. I am Cindy Williams, a US citizen; I reside here in Norman, Oklahoma. My residential address is 1900 Renaissance Drive Apt 1307 Norman, Oklahoma 73071, USA. Phone (405)366-5674. My late father was one of those that executed a business contacts in Nigeria years ago but the paying bank refuse him the payment till his death, having paid over $70,000 trying to get his payment but to no avail. After his death, I decided to travel down to Nigeria with some of his documents, after spending several weeks in Nigeria I was privileged to meet with Rev. Jacob Etebom, who was a member of the payment award committee. I asked him to help me in getting my father's payment since he is a member of the payment committee. It was after going through the legal processes that I got to discover that those contacting my late father are fake and with no genuine intentions .Then he assisted me in processing my father's payment and took me to the paying bank were i received an ATM card for the said payment, and today I have received my father's funds of $1.2Million USD. Mr. Jacob Etebom showed me some information of those that have not received their payment; and I saw your contact details as one of those that the World Bank approved their Payment of $5.5MillionUSD, so i decided to notify you on what to do, You have to contact Rev. Jacob now on this information below if you still have interest in receiving your funds. His name: Rev. Dr. Jacob Etebom, Email: ( ) Phone:234-01-4921649, Office address: 2 Awolowo, Ikeja Lagos Nigeria You really have to stop your dealings with those contacting you because they will dry you up until you have nothing to eat like they did my late father. The only money I paid was just the ATM card activation fee and a compensation of Mr. Jacob's services, which I think you should know Just in case you might not be able to make the trip down to Nigeria. Please do not tell Mr. Jacob that i gave you this info, just tell him that someone recommended you to him. Thanks for your Understanding. Ms. Cindy Williams </li></ul>
    24. 26. Avoiding a Phishing Scam <ul><li>DO NOT respond to the e-mail. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT provide personal information. </li></ul>
    25. 27. Avoiding a Phishing Scam SPOOFSTICK
    26. 28. Avoiding a Phishing Scam SPOOFSTICK <ul><li>Download Spoofstick on </li></ul>
    27. 29. Pharming Scam <ul><li>A pharming scam is carried out through a copycat website </li></ul><ul><li>Thief creates website that looks like a legitimate business’s website </li></ul><ul><li>You enter the address of a legitimate business but are re-directed to a “spoofed” site. </li></ul><ul><li>When you enter personal information, it is sent to the con artists – NOT the legitimate business. </li></ul>
    28. 30. Pharming Warning Signs <ul><li>Site does not show security features (padlock, “https”). </li></ul><ul><li>Text on page cannot be highlighted – the material is an image rather than words. </li></ul><ul><li>If you enter information you will receive an “error” or “next page cannot be displayed” message. </li></ul>
    29. 32. How You Can Protect Yourself <ul><li>Security Freeze – January 1, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>A security freeze means that your file cannot be shared with identity thieves. </li></ul><ul><li>Lift freeze in order to take out new credit. </li></ul><ul><li>Free to victims of ID Theft. If not a victim, $10.00 to place or lift the freeze. </li></ul><ul><li>Go to: and the information will inform how to apply for this service. </li></ul>
    30. 33. How You Can Protect Yourself <ul><li>General Prevention Tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check your credit reports at least once a year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow up if bills don’t arrive on time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase a shredder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a secured mailbox </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not print your SSN on checks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not carry your SSN in your wallet/purse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep items that contain your personal information in a safe place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit for recent developments </li></ul></ul>
    31. 34. Other Prevention Tips <ul><li>Carry only the credit/debit cards you need when shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up for the Do-Not-Call registry </li></ul><ul><li>Opt out of sharing your financial information when given the opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank </li></ul><ul><li>Never toss credit card receipts in a public trash container </li></ul><ul><li>When creating passwords and PINs, use a combination of letters and numbers – memorize them! </li></ul><ul><li>Shield your hand when using a bank ATM or making long-distance phone calls with your phone card </li></ul>
    32. 35. Prevention for Computer Users <ul><li>Password-protect your computer, and files that contain sensitive personal data. </li></ul><ul><li>Install firewall and virus protection software. </li></ul><ul><li>Encrypt files with personal information. </li></ul><ul><li>When shopping on-line, be sure you are dealing with a reputable company. </li></ul><ul><li>When disposing of your computer, use a strong “wipe” utility program to remove data, or physically destroy the hard drive. </li></ul>
    33. 36. Protection When Traveling <ul><li>Have Post Office stop delivery of mail </li></ul><ul><li>Carry only the checks and credit cards you will need. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a list of items in your wallet/purse and store in a safe place where you are staying (do not include account numbers). Include phone numbers of the companies </li></ul><ul><li>Lock up documents at home and in your hotel </li></ul><ul><li>Do not keep your PIN with your ATM card </li></ul>
    34. 37. Handling Information Responsibly <ul><li>Carefully review your statements monthly </li></ul><ul><li>Shred all documents with sensitive info </li></ul><ul><li>Find out how your bank safeguards your data and insist that paper and magnetic files be destroyed. Do the same for companies that issue loan or credit applications </li></ul><ul><li>Store cancelled checks and other personal information in a safe place </li></ul>
    35. 38. What To Do If You’re a Victim <ul><li>Contact the fraud departments of one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file </li></ul><ul><li>Close the accounts that have been affected </li></ul><ul><li>File a police report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send copies to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime </li></ul></ul><ul><li>File your complaint with the FTC and Post Office </li></ul>
    36. 39. Identity Theft Contacts <ul><li>Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>858-693-7935, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact Federal Trade Commission at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>800-IDTHEFT, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact Fraud Units of Credit Reporting Bureaus at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EQUIFAX: 800-525-6285 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EXPERIAN: 888-397-3742 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TRANS UNION: 800-680-7289 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For fraudulent use of checks, contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checkwrite: 800-766-2748 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chexsystems: 800-428-9623 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equifax Telecredit: 800-437-5120 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Processing Co.: 800-526-5380 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SCAN: 800-262-7771 </li></ul></ul>
    37. 40. Identity Theft Procedures <ul><li>Buy a notebook to serve as a telephone log and file folders to keep notes on each contact; </li></ul><ul><li>File a police report in each jurisdiction where the theft occurred; </li></ul><ul><li>Close all accounts. Phone each company’s fraud division. Request copy of relevant fraud-dispute form. Complete and return immediately; </li></ul><ul><li>Request a new driver’s license from the state motor vehicle agency and have a fraud report attached to your driving record; </li></ul><ul><li>Send certified, return receipt requested letter to each person contacted, summarizing each conversation; </li></ul><ul><li>Notify check-verification firms about any fraudulent checks (Int’l. Check Service @ 800-526-5380; Telecheck @ 800-927-0755; Certegy Check Services @ 800-437-5120); </li></ul><ul><li>Order credit reports from: www.annualcreditreport .com , or 1-877-322-8228. To do so in writing, get an Annual Credit Report Request Form from, fill it out and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 </li></ul><ul><li>Have fraud alerts placed on all accounts and make sure new ones are not opened unless you are notified; </li></ul><ul><li>Refuse to pay fraudulent charges. Documenting the above helps; </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center @ 858-693-7935 or at for more tips. </li></ul>
    38. 41. Do-Not-Call Registry <ul><ul><li>Register at now, or call 888-382-1222 (call from the number you want to register) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will not stop political, charitable, newspaper and survey calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Violators can be fined up to $5,000per call </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call 1-888-CALL-FCC and file a complaint with the FTC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File a complaint with the MN Attorney General </li></ul></ul>
    39. 42. Limiting Access <ul><li>FTC’s Do Not Call Registry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Register at: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> , or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>888-382-1222 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File a complaint at: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>888-CALL-FCC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To Stop Credit Card Offers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>888-5-OPT-OUT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write to firms you do business with that you do not want info about you sold to others </li></ul>
    40. 43. Limiting Access <ul><li>To remove your name from national mailing lists, , or write to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail Preference Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>P.O. Box 643 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carmel, NY 10512 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For problems with a mail order company, write to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail Order Action Line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1111 19 th Street, N.W., Suite 1100 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Washington, DC 20036 </li></ul></ul>
    41. 44. One-Stop Information or call the MN Attorney General’s Office (651) 296-3353