UBP blog

02/01/2010

What Identity Thieves Want

Identity theft is a huge and costly problem. In fact, it has recently surpassed drug trafficking as the number one crime in the nation and claims one new victim every 3 seconds.

Identity theft can happen to anyone and its results are devastating: stolen funds, a tarnished credit rating and obligations to pay off debt that isn’t even your own.

To keep from becoming victims of identity theft, all individuals should:

  • Keep sensitive personal information under wraps
  • Learn to recognize and put a stop to common identity theft strategies
  • Act quickly to limit damage

This blog post will focus on keeping sensitive personal information under wraps, and knowing what identity thieves want is a logical first step to keeping personal information safe. That’s because when you know what identity theft criminals want from you (and what they’d do with it) you’ll know exactly what personal details to keep safe and secure.

The following table shows you what common pieces of personal information identity theft criminals want and why they want it.

Type of Information Why ID theft criminals want it
Social Security Number (SSN) Your social security number uniquely identifies you for employment and credit purposes and serves as the gateway to all your financial information
Date of Birth Your date of birth (especially if used alongside your SSN) can be used by an ID theft criminal to verify your identity
Financial Account Numbers This includes bank account numbers and credit card numbers. ID theft criminals can use them to take money out of your accounts or make payments both over the phone and online.
Mother’s maiden name ID theft criminals want this information because it’s often used to verify an individual’s identity and authorize access to their financial information.
PIN numbers and passwords These allow access to banking, credit card and online accounts
Driver’s license number This number can be used by ID theft criminals to obtain a fraudulent ID

 

Starting March 1, 2010 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General’s office will begin enforcing Regulation 201 CMR 17.00. The Regulation is designed to prevent identity theft and it’s the toughest identity theft law for businesses in our nation to date.

Is your company up to speed with compliance? Can you afford not to be?

Register to attend our free webinar February 11th at 2 pm and in just 30 minutes we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to get compliant and stay compliant.

 

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