Fabricated Identity Theft Fast Growing
Fabricated Identity Theft One of Four Types of Identity Theft
The FTC has reported that Identity Theft continues to be the highest ranking consumer complaint it receives. Fabricated Identity Theft is the fastest growing class of Identity Theft according to the FTC. Identity theft presents the victim with a hassle that will not be soon forgotten.
Identity Theft Classifications
- Lost/stolen Credit Card. Lost or stolen credit cards is the common form of Identity Theft. It is also the easiest form of identity theft to detect. It is usually characterized by unusual behavior in the account. Sensitive information such as social security numbers and dates of birth are not usually compromised. There is little ongoing harm to the victim if it is discovered and reported promptly. Credit cards provide insurance for this form of identity theft.
- Theft of a victim’s actual identity. This form represents a small percentage of all identity theft. It is characterized by gaining access to a victim’s personal information such as social security and driver’s license ID numbers. It is often difficult to undo the harm that has already been caused by the time the theft of a real identity is discovered.
- Fabricated Identity Theft. Here the thief invents and establishes an account. Social Security numbers used may or may not belong to a real person. The identity thief sometimes will keep the account current long enough to grow the credit line. That point is where the real damage is done.
- Identity Manipulation. The thief makes slight modifications to information that is otherwise true. One or two digits of a social security number may be changed. The change could also be to a middle initial, spelling of a name or Jr or Sr at the end.
Improving Economy Not Helping
According to the FTC the improving economy has not had any effect on the growth of identity theft. Experts say the growth of this form of criminal activity is usually associated with the economic indicators of the times. Hopefully an improving economy will result in a corresponding decline in identity theft.
Fabricated Identity Theft Concerns
Fabricated Identity Theft is typically the product of careful criminal planning. It’s a wonder that many of these people who are smart enough to succeed at fabricated identity theft don’t use their intelligence to better purposes. Looking over your shoulder for fear of incarceration can’t be a very satisfying life. Many turn out to have used the fabricated identity theft for money laundering and multiple cell phone accounts. Criminal enterprises depend on this kind of deception to maintain their secrecy.
Defenses Against Fabricated Identity Theft
Authorities rely on a mixed arsenal of strategies when new accounts are opened to defend against identity theft.
- Fraud Scores Measures basic giveaways that fraud is in play
- Compliance Flags Red, Yellow or Green depending on a host of factors
- Fraud Attributes For example Number of Social Security Numbers at that address
- ID Resolution Proof that this is a particular unique person
- ID Manipulation Scores Deliberate manipulation of ID over time and industries
- ID Manipulation Attributes Number of SS Numbers used
Sophisticated Cyber theft is spiking
Not all small retailers follow what the credit industry calls the “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.” Sophisticated cyber thieves prey on any vulnerability in order to feed the underground system for the sale and exchange of stolen credit card information. Sophisticated cyber theft has increased over 40 percent in the last year. Key considerations to keep in mind for your security against ultra sophisticated foreign thieves include:
- Check statements as soon as they are available.
- Move fast when a discrepancy is found.
- Track your credit history to spot trouble sooner rather than later.
- Beware of offers that have a false urgency, seem too good to be true or come from marginal web sites.