Scammers are posing as identity theft / fraud specialists in order to obtain personal information from the victim.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) kicks off on October 1st. This initiative, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, hopes to both remind and inform the public of the importance of staying safe and secure online. Cyberspace is now ever-present in all facets of our lives and affects us all. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this nationwide campaign. The ITRC is proud to once again be a champion of this important initiative and has dedicated several special activities to help spread awareness. Check out the calendar below for a list of ways that the ITRC is helping to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Week 1 October 1-6, 2013
10 Years & Beyond: General Online Safety & STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
The next ten years in cybersecurity are critical to ensure a safe, secure, resilient cyberspace where the American way of life can thrive. Given the stakes we must remain focused on meeting the challenges of the next ten years.
10/1 ITRC will be participating in SDG&E's Cybersecurity and Privacy Townhall
10/1 ITRC will be participating in NCSAM kick-off activities
10/1 Post Blog: How Far We Have Come
10/2 NCSAM Pinterest Board
10/3 Regular Twitter Chat on NCSAM
Week 2 October 7-13, 2013
Being Mobile: Online Safety & Security
|Emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity no matter where you are or what device you are using.||
10/8 Post Blog: Tablet Security
10/10 ITRC will be participating in Securing Our eCity's CyberFest 2013 - The Truth about Cybersecurity in San Diego
Week 3: October 14-20, 2013
Cyber Education and the Next Generation of Cyber Leaders
|Highlights the importance of fostering the next generation cyber workforce through education and training.||
10/15 Post Blog: Co-habitating Workspace
10/16 Post NCSAM ID Theft Protection Tip
|Week 4: October 21-27, 2013
|Focuses on national and local efforts to prevent traditional crimes like theft, fraud, and abuse that can also take place online.||
10/22 Post Blog: Cybercrime Resource List
10/24 Special Edition Twitter Chat on Cybercrime
Week 5: October 28-31, 2013
Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure
|Highlights the growing intersection between cyber and physical security when protecting the Nation’s critical infrastructure.||10/29 Post Blog: Cybsecurity - Keep it going all year long|
Additional resources for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month:
· Blog – A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts
· Collection Agencies – businesses or attorneys whose job is to collect money owed by “you” to another business. You have rights under the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act about how they can act.
· Credit Report – a kind of report card about your credit history
· Credit Reporting Agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These are three separate companies that keep large databases about your credit history.
· Dumpster Diving – going into a trash can for documents that can be used for identity theft
· Felony – a crime sufficiently serious to be punishable by death or a long term in prison (i.e. violent crime, high damage identity theft crime)
· Firewall – software that blocks your computer information from an outside source
· Forgery – creating a false document, altering a document or writing a false signature for the illegal benefit of the person making the forgery
· Fraud – a type of crime used to gain services, money, information
· Identity theft – a crime that occurs when a person steals your personal information and uses for self-gain
· Imposter – someone pretending to be another person
· Misdemeanor – a crime punishable by a fine and/or county jail time (i.e. traffic ticket, sometimes given to first offenders)
· Peer-to-Peer - P2P is an application that runs on a personal computer and shares files with other users across the internet.
· Perpetrator – a criminal or an imposter
· Phishing – a scam that tries to trick you into giving our your SSN and other personal information
· Scam – trickery used to gain information
· Shoulder Surfing – the act of listening in or looking over someone’s shoulder to see information they can use to steal you identity
· Social networking - refers to a broad class of web sites and services that allow you to connect with friends, family, and colleagues online, as well as meet people with similar interests or hobbies, i.e. MySpace, Facebook
· Social Security number (SSN) – a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration to all individuals
· Should changes be made in business practices to help stop identity theft? If so, what?
· Are consumers completely responsible for this problem?
· Why do identity thieves do what they do? Why do they steal? (hint- money, revenge, social problems)
· How do you think victims feel about having their identity stolen? (see ITRC Fact Sheet 108)
· How many ways do you think it can negatively affect their lives? (see The Aftermath Studies)
· List the different ways identity thieves steal information and find one good solution for each technique.
· They say that this crime hurts businesses. Do you really think that businesses are losing money to this crime or is someone else paying the bill? If so, who and why? (hint: will a company really write off the money or raise prices?)
· What can YOU do to help combat this crime?
· If you know a family member, friend or someone you personally knew was using your Social Security number illegally, how would you handle the problem?
· Scams- what are some ways a thief could try to trick you into giving him/her your SSN either by the telephone or Internet? (see ITRC www.idtheftcenter.org)
· Blogs- Can blogging be made safer?
· Why do you think different studies and surveys, about the number of victims, vary so much? (hint- what is identity theft)
· Research the history of the Social Security number including:
o Who got the first card?
o Whose SSN was most stolen (hint- wallet maker)?
o How is your SSN determined?
o Why do you get a SSN before your first birthday and when was that procedure started? (Note: Years ago, individuals only got a SSN when they started to work.)
· Make a list of at least 8 popular scams and explain them to your classmates\
· Find a survey or study on the victims of identity theft and explore the impact of this crime.
· Debates: Have two groups with one representing the business interests and one consumer interests and discuss the changes they would like to see in protecting personal identifying information from identity theft. Remember, the business side is also concerned about the cost of change.
· Family activity: have each student take home the “Are Your Identity Savvy” quiz and test family members for identity theft safety.
· What are some of your rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act)?
· What are some of your rights under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act)?
· Create a short presentation for another class about identity theft and tell them what they need to know about this crime.
· List types of career options that are associated with the reduction and alleviation of identity theft? Consider Information Technology, forensic sciences, law enforcement, privacy officers and advocates, fraud investigators, and legislators. Why is each important?
To all interested students, teachers and parents:
Hello and thank you for contacting the ITRC. Identity theft is an area to be concerned with, not just for adults but also for teens and children. The very fact that you have a Social Security number puts you at risk. Everyone should know that identity theft is more than just a financial crime. These FAQs will help you understand what you need to know as a responsible consumer, and what companies should be doing to protect you.
This FAQ should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individuals for their own use, should be directed to ITRC.
Copyright Identity Theft Resource Center®, all rights reserved.
Created by ITRC
The ITRC news feed on this page is presenting current Internet threats and information. This RSS feed is provided courtesy of Trend Micro. This list updates continually, making you aware of some of the most recent threats to your Internet safety. Click on any article to see the full article on the Trend Micro website. ITRC encourages you to bookmark this page to keep abreast of the latest Internet threats.
The Widget Tool, courtesy of Trend Micro, allows you to check the current Internet threat level. The Widget will also allow you to verify a URL to see if it is safe before going to a website. Type in the URL and press “enter” to get a report on a website.
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Today, thieves are coming up with more and more devious ways to try and trick you into giving them your personal information, one of which is through scams. Scams can take the form of emails, text messages, phone calls, through social media accounts and more. To minimize your risks, it’s important to not only know how to detect one but it’s also imperative to be aware and stay up-to-date on the latest scams.
It is of prime importance to know the scams that thieves use to trick you into giving information. They then use the information to steal your identity. Compare this to a defensive driving course. It is not enough to know how to use a phone or the Internet. You must know how to use this technology safely, including increased awareness of situations that could lead to identity theft. Below you will find Fact Sheets, Solutions and Blogs to learn more about scams and how to protect yourself.