Increasing frauds

Lata Jain

The special branch police of cyberabad have busted a gang into making of fake voter ID cards and pan cards which in turn help to obtain fake credit cards with a purpose to defraud banks. According to the Commissioner Cyberabad  C.V.Anand, this has serious repercussions on the national security as  Pan cards and voter Id cards are used most important documents to prove the identity by the central government.

lata jain

Lata Jain

These days, it may seem like almost any bit of personal information about you can be used by fraudsters to commit ID theft. While methods are evolving, there are some standard pieces of information that make it much easier to pose as another person.

The first identification of any individual is through name. The first identity of an individual after your birth. You use it all the time. It’s on your name tag at work, proudly displayed across your social accounts, and something you share with the doctors, repair people, and even strangers at the grocery store. Your name is a big key to your identity. That doesn’t mean you should start keeping it a secret, though. Your name might be one key to your identity, but typically it must be paired with other information for ID theft to occur. What’s more, in some instances, ID thieves don’t use your real name at all, but instead pair other pieces of your identifying information with a different name.

Our address isn’t typically a secret (friends, family, and neighbors all know it), but it is an important part of your identity. With a name and an address, thieves can often access accounts, sometimes even sensitive ones. Your address can also be used to redirect mail, giving identity thieves a treasure trove of personal information. While you can’t keep your address a complete secret, you can take steps to better protect it. Don’t share it openly on sites like Face book or Twitter. Do not write your address unless mandatory.

Your PIN number shall never be shared, sometimes not even with the family members and children. There can be an error out of innocence, surely not intentional.

According to a report in a business magazine, the most common form of identity theft is misuse of existing accounts such as bank and credit card information–this type of ID theft made up about 85% of all complaints. The number of complaints from people who had their personal information misused for things like opening new accounts, getting medical care, a job, or government benefits was much lower, totaling about 8% of the reported crimes.

While the number of cases involving misuse of personal information is much lower than that of existing account information, the report indicates that the financial and emotional toll that theft of personal information takes on individuals is far greater.

Other major easiest source of information is social media. It’s usually about the newest scam, or the latest data breach, or tips to stay safe when you’re sharing information online. As many id theft pitfalls as social media may have, it also has traps for the scammers and hackers themselves. Companies lose $3.5 billion each year to online payment fraud, and various organizations are using different networks to verify identities. Payment system provider Intuit is using LinkedIn to verify the identities of its users, checking to see if they are who they really say they are.  Essentially, companies are using the very fact that people post a lot of personal information online as a way to catch those who are attempting to defraud companies and organizations.

Gangs and organized crime syndicates are more emboldened than ever to rob identification details like any business, a gang is organized to make money, and id theft is just another way for them to do that. Gangs make money by committing ID theft in a variety of ways, ranging from fraudulent tax filings, stealing Social Security checks and other benefits from the elderly, and of course, by opening lines of credit in your name.

To commit fraud and ID theft, gangs must first get hold of people’s personal information. Recently, the trend has been to have girlfriends or female gang members get jobs as data entry clerks, administrators, or receptionists. They show up for a couple days of work, copy the information of random people or download it to a flash drive, then they never show up again. Sometimes, the company may take months to figure out what happened, or they may never know at all.

Over the past few months, the discussion around voter registration has mostly been about voter fraud and voter ID cards, not the possibility of identity theft. It’s a valid question, since a voter registration form does have a full date of birth and other details.

The best way to protect yourself against this type of identity theft is to check the voter registration rules in your state. If you are already a registered voter, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you have yet to register, or have to re-register, try to do this through the local government instead of through a third party organization or via email or online form. This ensures that you are signing a legitimate form and that the form will go to the right place.

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