Naveen Sharma, an MNC employee applied for a loan from ABC bank but was shocked to know that his CIBIL rating is bad due to non-payment of credit card bill of INR 98700. Naveen never had any credit card ever ,his personal details were used by fraudsters to avail a credit card from bank in his name. It’s a classic example of” identity theft”
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a type of crime where someone’s personal and financial data is obtained and used without their permission. Identity thieves may use a person’s information to do things like apply for credit cards or loans in their name, steal money from their bank account or do tax or medical frauds.
As per kanwaljeet kaur ,managing director of Kapp Edge solutions and consulting company-Krish consulting ( boutique fraud prevention firm) , Every 2 out of 5 Indians experienced identity theft and approx.40% consumers worldwide are victim of identity theft by the end of 2021.
5 Common ways to do identity theft
- Social engineering-it is the practice where fraudster either in person or online, uses means to deceive the victim into divulging sensitive information.
- Shoulder Surfing-This attack may occur anytime you use a password or at an ATM or when you are using confidential details such as PAN or Adhar card details at public place. The identity thief attempts to get close enough to you so that when you enter password or sensitive information, they can see it.
- Fake Websites-Fake websites often look like legitimate and trustworthy sites to make peoplemore apt to provide their personal information..Purchases made on these fraudulent sites will likely never arrive, or worse, fraudsters may steal the personal or financial information of the victim.
- Public Wi-Fi and USB Charging Stations –Many public Wi-Fi networks are vulnerable to threats from hackers, making it possible to steal your private and sensitive information.
- Vishing-Fraudsters can also use phone calls, also known as voice phishing or vishing, to target potential victims. Phone scammers sometimes use promises, like the offer of a prize to prompt victims into giving up personal information. This information will later be used for using your identity to get credit card done or any similar scam.
Better Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Identity Theft
- Password-Protect Your Devices-Not having a password on your smartphone or tablet is akin to leaving your home with the door wide open. Make a strong password and keep changing it regularly.
- Never Give Out Personal Information Over the Phone-If you suspect a call is potentially legitimate, ask for the caller’s credentials, hang up, and contact the bank directly. Don’t disclose information on call.
- Regularly Check Your Credit Reports/CIBIL-f you can spot something suspicious early, such as an unfamiliar activity in your report, immediately report it to bank or law enforcement.
Author-Kanwaljeet kaur is a qualified chartered accountant, CFE and a very well recognized fraud investigator with 20 years of experience in fraud detection and she supports banks, law enforcement and MNC’s worldwide.