How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft and Internet Scams

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1 How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft and Internet Scams

2 Recent Statistics (2011) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 314,246 complaints nationwide Complaints received in 2010 was 303,809 Total losses estimated to be $485 million Average dollar loss for those reporting a loss is approximately $4,187 (median dollar loss is $636.00) However, research indicates only 1 in 7 incidents of fraud are reported

3 Top Five Reported Crime Types 18,511 Overpayment Fraud 22,404 Non auction / non delivery of Merchandise 27, 892 Advanced fee fraud 28,915 Identity theft 35,764 FBI related fraud

4 Identity Theft Defined The fraudulent acquisition and use of a person's private identifying information, usually for financial gain. Uses any personal identifying information or personal identification document of another person to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services, or other property

5 How Your Information is Used Your information may be used to open credit cards, utilities, cellular telephone contracts Obtain mortgages Fraudulent driver s licenses Bank accounts Buy a car Get a job and file fraudulent tax returns

6 Identity Theft Not Only Computer Related Every 3.5 seconds in the United States a person s identity is stolen Identity can be stolen through low tech means Digging through the garbage Stolen purse / wallet Conning information out of employees of businesses Going through your mail

7 Fraudulent Loan Applications / Fraudulent Job Applications On Line Never complete unsolicited loan or job applications on line Never click on a link directing you to a loan or job site Always type in the URL Be careful who you provide your personal information to Fraudster will make solicitations appear legitimate

8 Frequently Abused Websites Craigslist.com Monster.com Ebay.com Singles.net Fling.com Match.com Plentyoffish.com Facebook.com

9 Dangerous Cellular Telephone Applications Instragram Snapchat Omegle Robotchat Oovoo Paltalk

10 Common Signs of Scams Victim won something without buying a ticket Security reasons prohibit victim from speaking with anyone about the scam Very poor wording, grammar, and punctuation (awkward sentence structure) Ask victim for money or personal information before giving anything in return If its too good to be true, its probably a scam

11 Pet Scams Buyer-Targeted Scam -Fraudster advertises sale of pet -Buyer sends payment to fraudster -Fraudster cashes payment, but never sends pet to buyer

12 Pet Scams Seller-Targeted Scam -Fraudster agrees to buy pet from seller -Fraudster sends seller a bad check with an overpayment -Fraudster instructs seller to deposit check and refund the overpayment -Fraudster makes off with refund before banks figure out first check is bad

13 Secret Shopper Scams Very similar to seller-targeted pet scams Victim is hired as a secret shopper and receives fraudulent check Victim is asked to wire some funds to a third party, and keep the rest as payment Fraudsters may use copyrighted logos to convince victims of legitimacy of scam

14 Work From Home/Re-Shipping Scams Victim responds to ad for employment Victim is hired by fraudulent company Victim receives shipments at home that are to be forwarded to an international address Victim later learns goods were bought using fraudulent credit cards

15 Charity Fraud Usually start with a spam Senders claim to work for a charity, but never actually give money to the charity This can be done over the telephone or door to door

16 Romance Fraud Fraudster meets victim on social site Usually lives in another country Promises to visit if victim sends them money to pay for trip Fraudster invariably can t come, and will continue to solicit money until victim realizes fraudster is never going to actually make the trip

17 Romance Scam Fraudsters already have a story put in place One variation from scams within the United States, Fraudster will lure victim to a location, while victims residence is burglarized

18 Phishing Scams sent seeking sensitive personal information Sent by fraudsters posing as legitimate businesses, i.e. banks Sometimes use threats to scare victim into providing information Once information is obtained, it is used for identity theft and other fraudulent purposes

19 Phishing Scam

20 Telephone Phishing Scams Fraudster will pose as legitimate representative of a company i.e. Microsoft Fraudster will explain that a virus has been detected on the victim s computer Fraudster will instruct the victim to download malicious software that could capture passwords, contacts, or other sensitive information Fraudster charges to remove the software Fraudster now has victims credit card information

21 Family Member in Jail / Injured Fraudster will call pretending to be a relative who is injured or in jail Fraudster will make it sound as they it is urgent or they are desperate Fraudster will play with the victims emotions Fraudster will request money be sent and to where

22 Green Dot Scam Fraudster will contact the victim in regards to winning a vehicle or some other prize Fraudster will request that money be put on a Green Dot reloadable card Green dot cards can be purchased at any local drug store i.e.; Walgreens, CVS Fraudster will ask for information from the Green Dot card and then they will have access to the account and the money

23 Credit Card Skimming A device used to hold credit card information Can be attached to an ATM or used by an employee of retail / restaurant establishments Information can he held by fraudster for several years before use Information can be imprinted onto other credit cards Numerous reports in the Lake County area i.e.; Lake Forest, Antioch, Gurnee, and Waukegan

24 Canadian Lottery Scams Send unsolicited spam s claiming that victim has won some form of an international lottery Victim is told to contact lottery employee Victim is then told that to claim their winnings, they must pay taxes, fees, etc. before prize money will be disbursed

25 Canadian Lottery Scam Example

26 Nigerian Scam #1: Money From Wills Fraudster claims that he has just received a large inheritance, but cannot deposit money into a Nigerian bank Asks for assistance in depositing money in an American bank Fraudster agrees to give victim portion of inheritance, usually several million dollars, if victim assists them

27 Nigerian Scam #2: Contract Fraud Fraudster enters into agreement with victim regarding shipment of goods to Nigeria or other country Fraudster states that he will pay C.O.D. Fraudster never pays, and victim is out of the cost of the goods and the shipping fees

28 Nigerian Scam

29 Nigerian Scam

30 5 Rules for Avoiding Nigerian Scams NEVER pay anything up front for ANY reason NEVER extend credit for ANY reason NEVER do ANYTHING until their check clears NEVER expect ANY help from the Nigerian Government NEVER rely on the US government to bail you out

31 Protecting Yourself If you did not order it, pay for it, or expect it, then it is most likely a scam Think like a thief i.e.; shred, tear, and destroy information before it makes it to your garbage Do not save passwords on your computer Always check your credit history for discrepancies Check with your personal bank if you have questions about banking online Never carry more credit cards than you need and cancel unused accounts

32 Protecting Yourself Continued Don t throw away bills or documents containing account information Never leave receipts behind, cross check them against credit card bills Do not carry your social security card with you and do not disclose it unless necessary OPTOUT ( )

33 Review These are only a sampling of the most common Internet scams Best way to avoid being victimized is to stay informed Protect yourself If it sounds too good, it most likely is

34 Sample References for Scams Grayslake Police Department

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