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© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Identity Theft: Why Would Anyone Want My Identity? Dr. Charles D. Knutson Brigham Young University
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Identity theft This is the information age Everything is electronic "Who is who?" is a trickier question Your identity is extremely valuable Brief Quiz: Who has been a victim at any level? Credit card purchase that you didn't make Someone uses your information 2
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Some statistics 2003 to 2006 Decrease in number of victims Increase in value of crime 9 million Americans each year $56.6 billion in 2006 Average time for victim to resolve: 40 hours 73% of crimes involve credit cards 3
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson True story - Michelle Brown "Over a year and a half from January 1998 through July 1999, one individual impersonated me to procure over $50,000 in goods and services. Not only did she damage my credit, but she escalated her crimes to a level that I never truly expected: she engaged in drug trafficking. The crime resulted in my erroneous arrest record, a warrant out for my arrest, and eventually, a prison record when she was booked under my name as an inmate in the Chicago Federal Prison." -- U.S. Senate Committee Hearing, July
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Not a true story… 5
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Forms of identity theft Financial identity theft Criminal identity theft Identity cloning Business/commercial identity theft 6
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Financial identity theft Use someone else's personal information to obtain goods and services Credit card fraud Line of credit fraud Loan/mortgage fraud 7
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Criminal identity theft False identification to avoid arrest or incarceration Illegal immigration Terrorism Espionage Blackmail 8
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Identity cloning Use someone else's information to assume control of their daily life functions Bills, mail, financial affairs, civil affairs 9
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Business/commercial Use business name and information to obtain credit Or perform some other financial transaction 10
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Self-revealing crimes Intent is to take advantage and then abandon the scam Leaves the victim picking up pieces Loan fraud in someone else's name Equipment or merchandise secured First notice of payment comes to victim (moment of discovery) No intent to maintain the scam 11
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Non-self-revealing crimes Intent is to maintain the scam indefinitely Victim may never know Victim may be deceased... Concealment from authorities Most common motivation 12
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson General Responsibility Personal All personal information must now be considered private! Government and business Data must be protected at all costs 13
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Identity Theft - Techniques Dumpster diving Skimming Computer spyware Shoulder surfing Hacking Phishing 14
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Identity Theft - Techniques Spam Social networks Stealing The old fashioned way Change of address 15
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Dumpster diving Obtain physical access to garbage, discarded documents Yes, this actually happens Mail stealing Unlocked mailboxes on street 16
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Skimming Specialized device Clerk swipes card Stores credit card information International travel Make sure credit card doesn't leave your sight 17
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Skimming 18
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Computer spyware More in presentation on malicious software Software installs on your computer without your knowledge Captures and communicates Keystrokes, passwords, credit card information 19
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Shoulder surfing Stand near someone Especially in a crowded setting Watch PIN, any other personal information that can be seen May also be done at a distance with telescope or binoculars More devices being made safer ATMs, keypad entry systems 20
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Hacking Thieves electronically penetrate databases Obtain all kinds of personal information Often credit card information This is a very very large topic! 21
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phishing More in "Malicious " from "trusted" source Click link goes to forged site Enter username and password They now access your account And any other account where you use that username and password combination 22
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spam More in "Malicious " Direct user to site to purchase something You provide credit card or other personal information No real product Recognize reputable sites Not all spam involves identity theft 23
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Social networks More in "Social Networks" MySpace, Facebook, etc. People post personal information Full name, birth date, mother's maiden name Anything else that can be leveraged to guess passwords 24
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Stealing The old fashioned way... Purse, wallet Mail Laptop! Sticky note near your computer where you wrote down all your passwords 25
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Change of address File change of address form with the post office All mail for victim redirected to you Use financial tools that show up Bank statements, loan applications Use personal information Social security statement, check stub 26
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Some statistics Low-tech methods for stealing personal information are still the most popular for identity thieves Stolen wallets and physical documents – 43% of identity thefts Online methods – 11% 27
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Now that I'm paranoid? What do I do? Creative passwords Not a real word, numbers and letters Do not carry your social security card with you! Credit report check List of all accounts and service phone numbers in a safe place 28
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Now that I'm paranoid? What do I do? Photocopy contents of your wallet or purse Credit cards, driver license, etc. Always err to the paranoid side when receiving a phone call Verify phone number and call back Nothing personal in the trash 29
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Shredder tips Dr. K's rule of thumb: If you wouldn't want to read the contents of a document on the front page of USA Today (or widely distributed newspaper of your choice)... SHRED IT!! Cross-cut shredder Not vertical slices Too easy to put back together 30
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Shredder tips Pre-approved, sign and mail offers Credit cards Loan applications Anything private Not just blatantly useful, but anything private 31
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Free credit report Credit report companies required by law to provide a free credit report annually https://www.annualcreditreport.com This is the ONLY true website Check your report each year Look for any suspicious activity 32
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Credit card promotions Remove your name from promotional lists Firm offers of credit or insurance, derived form your credit rating Experian, Equifax, TransUnion 33
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Phone solicitation National do not call registry Effective for five years Still allows surveys and non-profit organization Cell phones excluded from telemarketers 34
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Questions? Internet Safety Podcast Internet Safety Wiki wiki.internetsafetypodcast.com Dr. Charles Knutson 35
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