Online Security - Identify Theft

Identity Theft

Read: Identity Theft is on the Rise

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft refers to the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes. As of January 8, 2010, Senate Bill S-4 became law, making it illegal to possess another person's identity information for criminal purposes.

What is Identity Fraud?

Identity fraud is the actual deceptive use of the identity information of another person (living or dead) in connection with various frauds (including for example personating another person and the misuse of debit card or credit card data).

The top methods for stealing a person’s identity are: 

1. “Dumpster Diving”: going through a person’s or household’s trash to look for credit card offers, bills, bank account numbers, pay stubs, anything with Social Security numbers, birth dates, bank or credit account number, or other personal information. 

2. Skimming: stealing credit card numbers with a small hand-held unit that can store your credit card number with a quick swipe of your card. 

3. Phishing: pretending to be a legitimate financial institution, government agency, or company though an e-mail, a pop-up message, a text message, etc. 

4. Changing your address: Completing a change of address card at the Post Office to defer your mail to another location other than your home. Or hacking into your e-mail or online accounts to change your address or steal your personal information. 

5. Stealing: stealing mail from a person’s mailbox, or stealing your mailed Income Tax Return; stealing wallets or purses; bribing employees who have access to employee personnel records.

Assignment 1

Use you internet search skills to find one example of a situation where somebody became a victim of identity theft.

In a Google Doc briefly outline how this person became the victim, what happened, and what the outcome was for the victim. Was the thief ever caught? What could this person have done to avoid this situation.

Upload this to your website's homework session when you are complete.

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