What are The Most Common Identity Theft Techniques

According to the FTC, the most common identity theft techniques normally relate to the fraudulent use of credit cards, and the opening of bank accounts or other types of financial accounts in someone else’s name.

These types of account of venues to obtain fraudulent loans or credits which are credited to the person whose identity has been stolen.

There are obviously other types of identity theft, but it is a relatively new form of crime, and is evolving in different ways, depending upon how people access information.

Credit Card Theft

Most credit card companies will now automatically reimburse anyone whose card has been used fraudulently, normally without any question or challenge.

This is not about them being mister nice guy, it has been part of a calculated attempt to increase the growth and use of credit cards over the last 20 or 30 years.

Credit card fraud is not new, it has been going on since credit cards were first used. What is new is the scale of it, or the potential scale. Giving someone your credit card number, either of the phone or online has become as commonplace as giving people your telephone number.

In addition, many companies who stole your credit card are at risk of being hacked, or of using your information in some other way to an individual who should have it.

Either way, many years ago credit card companies realised that in order to encourage people to use them they had to have almost a blanket policy of giving their customers total trust in them, and a big part of that was why kill off any charges that were deemed to be fraudulent.

In addition, credit card companies go to extraordinary lengths to try and prevent credit card fraud, often through monitoring patterns of use and either blocking use of a card if they deem it to be fraudulent, or contacting the cardholder to check that their use of it is genuine.

Fraudulent Bank Accounts

Many people think of identity theft in this context, where someone’s identity has been stolen and a bank account or other type of financial account opened in their name. This certainly happens, but the scale of it is difficult to judge.

What is clear is that when it does happen it can be incredibly difficult to sort out. It can involve a huge amount of detailed  forensic activity, in order to create an audit trail that can prove fraud has taken place.

Whilst many banks and financial institutions are  often notoriously cautious when it comes to opening accounts and lending money, there are many who are not,  particularly online.

In order to facilitate identity theft of this type, the criminal must have access to certain amount of personal and financial information of the individual, and in truth the easier it is for someone to obtain this information, either online or in real life, the more at risk any individual is having their identity stolen and used in criminal activity.

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