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Identity Theft

Identity Theft

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Identity Theft

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  1. Identity Theft TACTYC Conference Georgia Perimeter College May 19, 2006

  2. Who Is at Risk? You Are!!!

  3. Identity Theft • What is it? • Who commits it? • How does it happen? • What are the possible consequences? • How can I prevent it? • What must I do if it happens to me?

  4. What Is Identity Theft? • n : the co-option of another person's personal information (e.g., name, social security number, credit card number, passport) without that person's knowledge and the fraudulent use of such knowledge -- dictionary.com

  5. Federal Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act • 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7) • Federal law passed in 1998 • Prohibits “knowingly transfer[ring] or us[ing], 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.”

  6. Other Related Federal Statutes • 18 U.S.C. § 1028 – identification fraud • 18 U.S.C. § 1029 – credit card fraud • 18 U.S.C. § 1030 – computer fraud • 18 U.S.C. § 1341 – mail fraud • 18 U.S.C. § 1343 – wire fraud • 18 U.S.C. § 1344 – financial institution fraud

  7. Georgia Statute §16-9-121. Identity Fraud Law • “A person commits the offense of identity fraud when without the authorization or permission of a person with the intent unlawfully to appropriate resources of or cause physical harm to that person, or of any other person, to his or her own use or to the use of a third party he or she: (1) Obtains or records identifying information of a person which would assist in accessing the resources of the other person; or(2) Accesses or attempts to access the resources of the other person through the use of identifying information.”

  8. Identifying Information (Partial List) • Names (current or former) • Social Security numbers • Driver’s license numbers • Bank account/credit card numbers • Birth dates • Tax identification numbers • Medical identifications

  9. Statistics • Source: Federal Trade Commission • Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse report • Over 635,000 consumer identity theft & fraud complaints received in 2004 • 61% classified as fraud, 39% identity theft. • Reported losses of over $547 million. • 27,300,000 million victims in past 5 years

  10. Statistics (cont.) • Source: GA Stop ID Theft Network • 2,592 victims reported in Georgia in 2001 • Seventh-highest in nation • Atlanta was 11th among major cities for reported identity theft in 2004 according to FTC

  11. Statistics (cont.) • Source: ChoicePoint Data Disclosures Report, 2005 • As of Nov. 15, • 125 data disclosure incidents this year • 57 million people potentially affected

  12. Statistics (cont.) • Losses to banks and final institutions • Estimated $48 billion in 2003 • Average loss per business victim • $10,200 • Average loss to individual victims • $1,180 • 175 or more hours resolving problems over two or more years

  13. Who Commits Identity Theft? • Professional thieves • Strangers • Employees of businesses • Family members and relatives • Friends/acquaintances

  14. Who Commits Identity Theft? • An estimated nine percent of ID theft cases involve family • Another ten percent of ID theft cases involve someone with another form of personal relationship (friend/ acquaintance, co-worker, etc.)

  15. How Does Identity Theft Occur? • Non-technological methods still used for the majority of cases • “Dumpster diving” • Dishonest employees • Mail theft/interception • Masquerading and “Social hacking” • “Shoulder surfers” • Telemarketing scams

  16. How Does Identity Theft Occur? (cont.) • Technology usage is growing rapidly • Wireless communication interception • Camera phones • Software tools • Credit card “skimming” • ATM spy cameras • “Phishing” and “Pharming” schemes

  17. Potential Consequences to Victims • Financial losses • Civil issues • Criminal problems

  18. Financial Consequences • Direct monetary losses • Credit/ATM/Debit cards • Checks • Indirect monetary losses • Lost time/wages • Out-of-pocket expenditures • Legal fees • Credit • Denial of credit • Increased rates for loans/mortgages

  19. Civil Consequences • Lawsuits • Loss of current job • Failure to be hired for new job

  20. Criminal Consequences • Approximately 15% of victims obtain a criminal record due to identity theft • Almost impossible to completely remove criminal record once it is in law enforcement databases

  21. How Can I Prevent It? • Total prevention is impossible! • Minimize risks as much as possible • Protect four primary areas • Information • Property • Documents • Technology

  22. Protect Your Information • Do not give out information unless you must! • Ask why a piece of information is needed • You can refuse to give information, but you may not receive the service in return • Do not use your Social Security number as an identification number • Needed by IRS, SSA

  23. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Make sure you know who is requesting the information • Are they legitimate? • Do not give out personal information unless you initiate the call/email

  24. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Be especially cautious with the “big three”: • Social Security number • Passport number • Bank/credit account numbers

  25. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Check your credit reports regularly • Every four months, request one credit report from one credit bureau • Federal law allows you one free copy of each bureau’s credit report annually • See http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ for information • Each credit bureau must be dealt with individually

  26. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Should you use a credit monitoring service? • In most cases, no • Exception is if you are already a victim of identity fraud • Note: credit bureaus will try to sell you credit monitoring when you request free reports. Be aware!

  27. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Run a public records search annually • Available free from ChoicePoint • Allows you to check publicly available data about yourself for accuracy • Can provide clues that identity fraud has occurred

  28. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Guard PINs and other identifiers from spying • Consider using electronic bill delivery/ bill paying services • Removes possibility of mail theft • Allows earlier detection of unauthorized activity • Encourages more careful monitoring of financial activity

  29. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Keep a record of all bank/credit account numbers along with phone numbers • Keep a photocopy of your wallet contents and passport in a safe place

  30. Protect Your Information (cont.) • Omit personal identifying information from resumes and job applications • You will eventually have to provide this if hired • Should not be needed until late in hiring process • If demanded early, do you really want to work there?

  31. Protect Your Property • Keep property secured at all times • Carry only necessary items in purse/wallet • Minimize number of credit cards • Do not routinely carry Social Security card, passport, birth certificate, or any document with bank routing information

  32. Protect Your Mail • Use a locked mailbox, or pick up mail promptly • Place all outgoing mail in secured mailbox • Keep track of billing cycles • Make sure all expected mail is actually received

  33. Protect Your Documents • Store identifying documents in a safe, locked place • Critical because of business liability • Georgia law – up to $10,000 fine PLUS unlimited civil liability

  34. Protect Your Documents (cont.) • Shred any personal or business document with identifying information before throwing away

  35. Protect Your Technology • Control access to computers • Minimize storage of sensitive data on laptop computers and centralized network storage • Keep safeguards up to date • Operating system updates • Security program updates

  36. I’m a Victim – What Do I Do Now? • Some measures apply to all cases • Others only for certain situations

  37. Record-keeping • Send all correspondence • Certified mail • Return receipt requested • Document EVERYTHING • Log all phone contacts • Company name, contact name, date, time • Keep copies of all correspondence you send forever • File ANYTHING you receive that MAY relate to the situation

  38. File a Police Report • Contact local law enforcement • Georgia law requires that • Law enforcement must take report • Report must be forwarded to Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs • Consumer Affairs will forward to Georgia Crime Information Center

  39. File a Police Report (cont.) • Get copies of the law enforcement report • Keep for your records • Send copies to creditors when reporting fraudulent activity

  40. Notify Credit Bureaus • All three credit bureaus should be alerted • Call first, follow up in writing • Request fraud alerts on your files • Normal duration of fraud alert is 90 – 180 days • Request, in writing, extension for seven years

  41. Notify Creditors • Call first, follow up in writing • Notify ALL creditors • Banks • Credit card companies • Other lenders • Phone companies • Utilities • ISPs and other service providers

  42. Notify Creditors • Existing creditors • Report fraudulent activity immediately • Cancel existing account • Request replacement cards with new account numbers

  43. Notify Creditors • Fraudulently obtained accounts • Take action as soon as you discover existence of account • State that you never requested account • Provide with copy of police report and fraud affadavit • Request that account be closed • Get confirmation in writing

  44. Get Credit Reports • Should be automatically sent at no charge when fraud alert is filed • Review carefully for inaccurate information • Remember that some inaccurate information may predate the crime • Dispute all inaccurate information in writing

  45. Report the Crime • Federal Trade Commission • http://www.consumer.gov/ • Fill out FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit • Many companies will accept as documentation • Others insist on their own paperwork

  46. Additional Agencies • U.S. State Department (passport agency) • Social Security Administration • U.S. Postal Inspection Service/local Post Office • Department of Motor Vehicles • Internal Revenue Service/Georgia Department of Revenue • Check approval agencies

  47. When Criminal Activity is Involved • You MUST take additional steps • Failure to do this could result in • Arrest • Jail time • Significant expense to repeatedly clear your record

  48. When Criminal Activity is Involved (cont.) • Have local law enforcement confirm your identity • Fingerprints • Photograph • Copies of identifying information • Have them send information to other jurisdictions involved as well

  49. When Criminal Activity is Involved (cont.) • Request a “key name switch” in databases • Entry should be under impostor’s actual name • If not known, as “John/Jane Doe” • Make sure your name is listed as an alias, not as real name • Include local, state, federal databases

  50. When Criminal Activity is Involved (cont.) • Obtain a clearance document • Called by different names: • Clearance letter – Mis ID • Certificate of release • Make multiple copies of this document • Carry a copy with you at ALL times • Make sure a trusted friend/family member has a copy