Identity theft involves misusing another person’s details to access their money, take out loans and open up accounts or businesses. Identity theft can occur through digital communications, where scammers seek personal information about their targets through email, social networks or phone conversations. To avoid being scammed, people ensure that you use only trusted websites and do not pass on personal information to individuals you do not know. If you think you have been targeted or your identity has been exploited, contact your bank immediately and you can report it to SCAMwatch (Scamwatch, n.d.).
Earlier this year, Kranish (2014) wrote an article about identity theft from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to this article, there have been billions of dollars paid out to scammers who find stealing from the IRS easy (para 5).
Having learned about the implications of having too much information online, I have now become actively curious about how many social media communities I belong to. Using the websites Knowem and Pipl, I entered all my social media names, which checked the Internet for my details. The results showed accounts that I had completely forgotten about. I decided to delete the unwanted accounts to minimise my digital footprint.
Identity Theft [image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.altonpolice.com/content.cfm?pageID=119
Kranish, M. (2014, February 16). IRS is overwhelmed by identity theft fraud. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/02/16/identity-theft-taxpayer-information-major-problem-for-irs/7SC0BarZMDvy07bbhDXwvN/story.html
Scamwatch. (n.d.). Identity Theft. Retrieved from http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/identitytheft
Your Digital Footprint [image]. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.digitalfamilysummit.com/2012/safety-protecting-your-digital-footprint/
Ways of Identity Theft [image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://thefinancialphysician.com/2013/09/how-to-prevent-identity-theft/