What is identity theft?
Fraudsters use identity theft to take over your identity and pretend to be you. Identity theft can be committed in all facets of everyday life, even when you’re using internet banking or making payments via the internet. For example, fraudsters can open a bank account in your name, in which they deposit fraudulent money or make purchase against credit.
How does a criminal work?
For identity theft, fraudsters make use of the personal data they have accessed via phishing, malware or another type of social engineering.
Fraudsters can get your information in a variety of ways, and not just via the internet or your computer: they can also request a replacement authentication code from your bank because “you lost the old one”. The bank sends this to your home address, where the fraudster steals this from your mailbox. This can be especially dangerous in apartment buildings because all the mailboxes hang next to one another and the lock is more easily broken.
Some information is more easily gained by fraudsters via social networks. This is why you should always be careful with what you post on these sites.
What does your bank do?
Identity theft is always done using some type of social engineering, where your “help” is enlisted, unbeknownst to you, via phishing, malware or another type of social engineering. Always keep an eye out for these dangers and read about what your bank is doing to avoid them.
A fraudster can, however, work completely without your “help” and directly represent themselves as you. To avoid this, your bank always does the following:
- When opening an account, they request valid proof of identity and they will check if this has been reported as stolen. As a new client, you will also have to sign with your identity card;
- They send security measures and codes (e.g. a pin code or password) separately or they request that you come in personally to pick these up;
- They send a confirmation message to the client when personal information is changed.
What can you do?
There are a number of issues that you can pay attention to so as to avoid identity theft:
- Take care with your various different proofs of identity;
- Immediately report the loss or theft of your proof of identity to the police;
- Ensure that your mailbox is sufficiently secure and cannot be emptied from the outside;
- Ensure that someone will empty your mailbox when you are absent from home for extended periods;
- Notify your bank if a security code does not arrive within the usual period of time;
- Immediately report the loss or theft of codes and passwords;
- Regularly check your personal information and transactions on your account;
- Take care with the information you share on social websites;
- Notify your bank if you see strange transactions on your account or mistakes in your personal information;
Also be on the lookout for phishing, malware or another type of social engineering. These are techniques that fraudsters use to commit identity theft.