Why Does Everyone Blame The Internet For Identity Theft?

from the so-many-other-options dept

For some reason, with so many stories about identity theft, many people automatically place the blame (or at least worry about) the internet. This is true, even though study after study has shown that very little of our identity theft problems have anything to do with the internet. Yet, people are still freaking out about the internet, and in some cases, making themselves less safe, by avoiding the internet in areas where it would be much safer.

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Comments on “Why Does Everyone Blame The Internet For Identity Theft?”

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CloakedMirror says:

Identity Theft

As a person who used to go through identities like a fish through water, I can tell you that identity theft has been around much longer than common internet usage.

I learned the “craft” back in the early ’80s. Back then, nobody gave a second thought to giving you information that would allow you to take on their identity. Call them on the phone with a credit-card offer, and they were more than willing to tell you their SSN, mother’s maiden name, and place of birth. With those three pieces of information, I could have real credit cards in their name within two weeks (assuming they had decent credit).

These days, I would hope that it might be a bit more difficult. But I continue to hear stories of how people will give out information that sets them up. In the end, it comes down to social engineering. Convince someone that you have a good enough deal, if only they turn loose of their information, and they will almost always give it away.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

People are the problem. The system is the problem. Until we can actually hold SOMEBODY accountable, this issue will NEVER go away. Like cloaked mirror said, this issue has been around for decades. This issues has nothing to do with the internet ONLY, although the internet has made the gathering of info by bad people easier.

Even with this issue in the mainstream news, I have come across info of others that I could potentially use to commit a crime. I never have, but it blows me away how clueless people can be.

I recently bought a house and the person living there before me never put in a change of address. I have receive numerous letters with her full name, SSN, DOB, mother’s maiden, passwords, etc on them. Lucky for her, I am not an evil person. But how many other times has she put herself in harms way.

My safety test:

Do an EGO SEARCH. Search for all your personal information on Google in numerous ways (especially your full name, address, and phone). If ANYTHING shows up that links to you, you’re not doing a good enough job with privacy. All it will take is 1 small slip up in any situation for you to be screwed by someone stealing identities. And we all slip up once in a while.

Better safe that sorry. ALWAYS use aliases EVERYWHERE and question EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME even in the real world. THINK AHEAD and THINK AS A CRIMINAL WOULD THINK.

People look at paranoia as a bad thing. STOP. It’s not.

“Paranoia is Heightened Awareness”

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