Identity theft..a true nightmare costing victims significant time and money.
Major companies involved in recent data breaches like Home Depot, Target, and Anthem with other companies stepping in with offers to help clean up the mess.
Noah Schiffman, a cyber security expert, says “they will hold onto it for awhile.. and then slowly use it …piece by piece.. it’s less likely to trigger flags in terms of the amount of data that was stolen…the extent of the breach and so it’s just more useful that way…it’s kind of like when you rob a bank.. .you don’t spend the money for awhile.. you lay low and spend a little bit at a time.”
Brian Womble of the FBI in Charleston: “they may sit on that information for years.. and use it years down the road to commit identity theft.. and really id theft is really just a lead in to a bigger crime, some time of financial loss, some type of fraud, some type of embezzlement.”
Frank Abagnale, an expert on fraud and a former con-artist himself seen here in the movie “catch me if you can” now works with the FBI to catch identity thieves.
He says the corporate breaches aren’t the only things making you vulnerable:
-use a credit monitoring service that notifies you each time credit report accessed
-if you are going to use a shredder, use a microcut shredder… so it can’t be put back together again.
-don’t write a lot of checks, on the check is name, address, account, routing, etc, signature, drivers license…could access bank account, could wire money out of your account)
– finally… it may sound extreme, but using a credit card… *not* a debit card.
“i use the safest form of payment which is a credit card, if i were to use a credit card if someone were to steal my information or steal my cc information, i am not liable… even if they charge a million dollars on my card.. when i use a debit card, that’s my account.. and if they steal any money, that’s my account and i have to convince the bank to put the money back into my account.. if it’s my cc, all i simply do is not pay that dollar amount.. and notify the cc company that someone stole my identity and i’m not liable for that.”
You can report any fraud you have experienced to http://ic3.gov/ . The FBI collates complaints and look for trends and internet crimes to build investigations.