Job seekers can be stressed, desperate, eager, and excited all at the same time. Having a mix of emotions can be distracting, which makes job seekers susceptible to thieves who are waiting to take advantage of them. If you or someone you know is looking for a job, they need to be on alert for scams.
The IRS recently announced cyber criminals were able to steal information from over 100,000 Americans’ tax returns. The thieves created phony returns and stole refunds by completing a multiple-factor authentication process including private data and non-identity information (e.g. social websites). As information-based crimes are on the rise, it is important to understand where criminals are retrieving this information. Below are five probable ways criminals obtained sensitive information:
When it comes to privacy protection, 2014 was a year of contradiction. The number of data breaches in the United States hit a record 783 – up more than 27 percent from the previous year – while 3 percent fewer individuals were victimized by identity fraud during the same period of time.
Another medical insurance company, Premera Blue Cross has become the victim of a data breach beginning on May 5, 2014. Although the company did not learn about the breach until January 29, 2015, it is believed that close to 11 million Premera Blue Cross members, employees, and partners could be impacted. The information that could be exposed includes date of birth, Social Security number, mailing and email addresses, phone numbers, medical records, and potentially bank account and claims data. It is believed that this breach may have connections to the January Anthem breach that potentially impacted 80 million subscribers. Premera Blue Cross has announced they will only be contacting victims via mail only to protect against phishing scams.
Tax return thieves use someone else's Social Security number to file for a tax return for themselves, often even resulting in the victim's wages being garnished for taxes the thief owes. It can be a lengthy process to convince the IRS that your have been a victim of identity theft and the money they believe you owe is not your responsibility.
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, make sure you’re aware of opportunities where a thief can steal your personal information this New Year's. Here are some tips from the Identity Theft Resource Center to help you prevent Identity Fraud:
When people fall victim to identity theft they often wonder how it happened to them. The most common ways that thieves get your information include:
In 2012, 12.6 million American adults fell victim to identity theft. Daily news headlines include data breaches at organizations such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more; even former President Bush has been impacted! What’s worse, a recent study has revealed that one in four people involved in a data breach where personal information is exposed will end up becoming an identity theft victim; this is the highest correlation between data breaches and identity theft since 2010.*
Some common information to be compromised in data breaches includes credit card numbers, Personal information such as online banking login, user name and password and Social Security numbers. Consumers who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were 5 times more likely to be a fraud victim than an average consumer.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for consumers to be notified that their information may have been breached. Forty-six states have legislation in place that requires companies to notify customers when their personal information at risk of a data breach and data breaches impact millions of Americans each year.
Research shows that consumers have an average of 26 different online logins but only use five different passwords. With so much of our lives online, consumers that reuse passwords put themselves at a higher risk for exposure. If a thief somehow gains access to one account, he or she could easily get into any other account that shares the same login information.
Computer hackers have discovered a lucrative way to gain personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and detailed financial data. Thieves steal the login credentials from a credit report re-seller or financial institution and download credit reports with enough information to open new credit cards, qualify for loans, get a driver’s license, and even receive medical treatment fraudulently.