Thisinvolves the unlawful acquisition of the personal information of avictim by the perpetrator and ultimately using the information in anillegal way for personal gains. This has become a pertinent issue asthe perpetrators are always devising ways to acquire identitiesillegally. Fraudsters then use the information to engage infraudulent activities such as banking fraud.
Thereare different ways to which people can become victims of identitytheft. One of these ways involves the carrying of wallets and pursesthat are stuffed with personal identifying documents such as creditcards. The loss of a wallet or purse creates more jitters as comparedto the possibility of replacing the cards or purchasing another bag.The damage is likely to be worse when fraudsters can access someone’sbirth details, mailing contacts or social security numbers (Malanikand Jasek, 2016). Surprisingly, the perpetrators are individualsknown to the victims.
Theother method criminals’ use is referred to as dumpster diving(Tajpour, Ibrahim, and Zamani, 2013). The fraudsters may be able toperuse through the victim’s trash and piece together crucialinformation from outdated financial documents so as to acquirepersonal details such as mailing address, name, and the bank accountnumber. This information can then be used to impersonate the victim.
Fraudstersmay alternatively adopt phishing as a technique for identity theft.This involves sending emails to unsuspecting victims. Such emails mayrequire the victims to respond with personal information that issecretly captured by the fraudsters and used illegally. Somecriminals perfect the art of stealing emails from their victims.Thus, fraudsters able to benefit from the offers linked topre-approved cards, open falsified accounts bearing the victim’sname and finally spend the illegally earned cash (Moise, 2015).
Yetanother method involves conning. For example, some services willrequire people to provide their personal details as a form ofverification, for example, when contacting a bank. Fraudsters maymanipulate their way through the various security measuresestablished by these institutions and ultimately obtain crucialinformation of the victim that will enable them to achieve theirobjectives.
Skimmingis the other approach embraced by fraudsters to engage in identitytheft. This involves manipulation of Automatic Teller Machines orequipment for processing credit cards (Tajpour, Ibrahim, and Zamani,2013). A device is usually inserted into these machines to captureand store personal information of the victims.
Theother concept used by fraudsters involves straightforward theft. Thisis a standard approach used by less complicated criminals wherebythey openly steal purses or pickpocket their victims in crowdedplaces.
Insome instances, monitoring software is installed in computers toobserve the activities of users secretly. A good example is thekeyloggers which can store login details of the unsuspecting victims.The perpetrators then retrieve these details and use them forfraudulent activities. Malware can also be used for these purposes(Jacobson and Idziorek, 2016).
Inconclusion, it is crucial to note that the loss of identity can havea grave impact on the victim’s life. Each and every day, fraudstersare inventing new techniques to acquire such personal data illegally.This situation is further worsened by the ever changing technology,some of which rely on personal information. We should, therefore, tryto avoid the use of our personal information unless it is mandatory.
Jacobson,D., & Idziorek, J. (2016). ComputerSecurity Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World.CRC Press.
Malanik,D., & Jasek, R. (2016). Contemporary Research on Techniques used on Smart Devices. InternationalJournal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science(IJSEAS).2(3), 447-454.
Moise,A. C. (2015). Committed Through Internet. CurentulJuridic, The Juridical Current, Le Courant Juridique,61,118-125.
Tajpour,A., Ibrahim, S., & Zamani, M. (2013). Methods andFraud Types. IJIPM:International Journal of Information Processing and Management.