There are new methods that devious people use in order to conduct their special kind of financial crime. Your Tri-State Better Business Bureau is aware of the latest form of identity theft known as “account takeover fraud.” Here’s how it works.
Takeover fraud occurs when someone has access to your personal information and is able to take over your existing bank accounts and make transactions based on your identity. According to a Javelin study from 2012, it is estimated that account takeover fraud was responsible for more than $4.9 Billion, an increase of 69% from 2011. For more information regarding this report, visit www.frbatlanta.org/documents/rprf/rprf_pubs/130408_survey_paper.pdf. Similarly, false application fraud works the same way in that the fraudster has your personal information and uses it to open new accounts for loans, insurance, telephone, utilities and other financial transactions. Based on your information, the fraudster now has your identity.
As with all ID theft, some of the most common ways by which your identity might be stolen are:
* Dumpster diving
* Telemarketing calls
* Phishing schemes
* Fraudulent websites
The ways to protect yourself are the usual ways that your BBB has provided in the past.
* Don’t just throw away your unsolicited mail, such as credit card offers; shred them instead.
* Don’t include personal information such as driver license number or social security number on your checks. Also don’t list your phone number on your checks.
* Never give personal information to people you don’t know, unless you’ve initiated the contact.
* Change your passwords and PIN numbers regularly, and make passwords robust, making it more difficult for ID thieves to crack your code.
For more information regarding ID theft visit www.bbb.org/evansville where you can Start With Trust ®.