Identity Theft Presented by Steve Jeffers firstname.lastname@example.org
Identity Theft The Crime That Pays Or Why Is A Guy Named ‘Dog’ Repossessing My Vehicle? By Brad Pitt
ID Theft Definitions • By statute - "knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law".(1998 18 U.S.C. §1028 up to 25 years imprisonment) • Identifying Information includes • Name • Address • Date of Birth • Social Security Number • Credit Card and Bank Account Numbers • PIN’s and Security Keywords such as Mother’s Maiden Name • Other as court precedents dictate.
How Big is The Problem? • Approximately 10 million people will become victims of ID theft this year. (FTC) • ID Theft is the fastest growing crime in the country. (Extrapolation of FTC data) • Arizona leads the nation in the per capita ID theft crimes at 122.4 per 100K citizens (FTC) • A recent study by Meridian Research makes the projection that by 2006 the financial institution sector alone will lose $8 billion to identity theft. • Most victims if they discover the theft do so only after a major purchase, apartment security deposit or job application. 38% of victims discover the event between 13 months to more than 4 years after the event. (idtheftcenter.org) • Federal Trade Commission data show that nearly 86,000 people filed identity theft complaints in 2001.
Examples • A husband and wife returned from a trip out of town only to discover that the owner on the deed to their house had been changed, along with the locks. (Dallas News) • Choice point sold confidential information on a minimum of 150,000 people then sent form letters to the victims offering to provide the information to victims for a fee. (Chicago Tribune) • 34% of victims reported a warrant issued in their name. (idtheftcenter.org) • 85% of victims discovered the incident not based upon proactive action from businesses but from an adverse manner. (idtheftcenter.org) • A man was indicted in Miami on identity theft-related charges relating to his alleged filing of false federal tax returns in the names of 614 Florida prisoners, seeking more than $3 million in fraudulent refunds. • 40 million card numbers were stolen from Card Systems in Tucson this year.
Costs • Individual costs: • An average of 600 hours spent correcting credit records and between 125-155 hours of work time or personal leave lost (privacyrights.org) • Lost wages from $1,820 to $14,340 • Expenses from $851 to $1,378 • Medical expenses to cope with the physical and emotional stress average $614 • Opportunity losses due to loan failures etc. • Forced Bankruptcies. • Warrants issued for the victim (Idtheftcenter.org 2004 report) • These loss numbers are only for the victims that were able to successfully resolve their innocence 72% of victims were never able to resolve their cases and 92% of those that did still report problems with their ability to get new credit. 19% of fraud alerts placed with the credit bureaus were ignored.
Costs • Business and Economic Impact • An FTC sponsored survey estimates the total costs to the economy as $50 billion annually • $5Billion in direct losses • The rest in containment and prevention measures • An unknown impact due to cost of credit increases to small business.. Offshore transfers of currency..other
Techniques • Pretexting – Old fashion lying and asking the victim • Phishing/Pharming (19% effective, 3% gave information Gartner) • Shoulder Surfing (I got your back) • Dumpster Diving (Shred.. Shred.. and Shred) • Malware (Virus, Spyware, Spam, Spim) • Direct exposure of by a business, employer or other custodian of the data • Hackers • Cyber Crime or Warfare
How is it done, a Breakdown • A relatively small amount of data or a momentary lapse in judgment is sufficient for the crime to pay (Typically a unique identifier such as SS#, Drivers License #, or a bank or credit account number is enough to get started). • Pretended identities ,misdirection, and hidden questions. • Usually one or more of these tones: • Friendly, Threatening, Helpful, Condescending but almost always the timing is Immediate • “An Honest Man can’t be conned” – Con artist
Scholarship Scams • "The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back." • "I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship." • "We'll do all the work." • "Buy now or lose out..." • "Millions of dollars in student aid go unclaimed every year"
Phone Scam • Attempting to get identity information, one caller speaks to women he can reach during the daytime and states that he is phoning about "your husband’s credit card payment, which is overdue." The caller then asks the wife to confirm her husband’s Social Security number and requests other personal information. • In one instance, the woman’s husband had died three years earlier and had no credit cards.
One extreme example • Or, as happened to a young law school grad in San Diego: she showed up for her first day of work, was handcuffed and taken to jail. The background check done by her new employer, the San Diego County District Attorney's office, revealed a warrant for her arrest -- possession of marijuana, by the person who stole her wallet and assumed her identity. (San Diego Union Tribune, Aug. 29, 1999)
Practical Measures • Never Ever give personal information out unless you have initiated the call or requested the service etc. • Don't carry information such as your Social Security number, extra credit cards and ID’s, PIN numbers or passwords in your wallet or purse. • Practice safe mailing. • Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible. • Never Ever give personal information out unless you have initiated the call or requested the email etc. • Use your free credit reports to monitor for evidence of identity theft.. (Unknown accounts, increases in credit query activity, and bad credit incidents) • Visit http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html
Practice Safe Computing • Make sure that all web sites where you perform transaction use SSL encryption especially using wireless connectivity • Install Antivirus & Antispyware tools and keep them updated along with the OS • Don’t respond to emails requesting confirmation of your account # or passwords or suggest that immediate action is required.
What to Do If You Suspect Your ID Has Been Stolen • Gather copies of your financial records • Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the problem. The FTC is the federal Clearinghouse for complaints by victims of identity theft. • Notify the US Postal Inspector if your mail has been tampered with or stolen. • Contact the DMV to see if another license has been issued to you.
What to Do If You Suspect Your ID Has Been Stolen continued • Contact the Social Security Administration's fraud hotline • Contact all creditors and financial institutions, by telephone and in writing to advise them of the problem. • Call each of the three major credit bureaus' fraud units to report the theft. Ask to have a "Fraud Alert/Victim Impact" statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. Request a copy of your credit report's be sent to you.
Resources • FTC The hotline number is 1-877-438-4338, or online at www.ftc.gov • Social Security Administration's fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 • Equifax PO Box 74021, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241 Order your report call 1-800-685-1111 To report fraud call 1-800-525-6285 • Experian PO Box 949, Allen, Texas 75013-0949 To report fraud or order your report call 1-888-397-3742 • Trans Union PO Box 390, Springfield Pennsylvania 19064-0390 Order your report call 1-800-916-8800 To report Fraud call 1-800-680- 7289
Resources Cont’d • http://www.antiphishing.org • National Check Fraud Service - (843) 571-2143 SCAN -1-800-262-7771 TeleCheck -1-800- 710-9898 CheckRite -1-800- 766-2748 CrossCheck- (707) 586-0551 Equifax Check Systems -1-800-437-5120 International Check Services 1-800-526-5380 • https://www.annualcreditreport.com • idtheftcenter.org • US Postal Inspector local numbers are listed under Federal Government in the telephone book or online at http://www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect • "SB 1386" Disclosure notification law (expedient time)
Conclusions • ID Theft is a rapidly growing crime with little risk and a large potential for gain, primarily due to the problems of discovery of the crime and tracking the perpetrators. • While some best practices by consumers can help, generally there is a lack of legislation and enforcement considering the impact to individuals. Which can devastate honest citizens We should all lobby for more protection from it. • Additionally we should all work to ensure that the simple practices of id verification methods, discovery and remediation easily used by thieves, becomes more stringent, and greater deterrents are implemented when shortcuts are taken.
Q&A Thank You!