A few years ago, Americans got their credit cards updated with new chip technology to help prevent fraud. While this technology has helped cut down on online fraud to some degree, criminals are finding other ways to commit fraud. After all, it’s easier to commit identity theft than get a real job.
Instead of using another person’s credit card information to steal their identity, scammers are using more sophisticated methods to gain access to accounts that are in another person’s name. These scams can affect a person’s bank and credit card accounts and even lock them out of these accounts altogether. A victim may be left unable to access their money or available credit on their cards. This can lead to not only stolen financial resources but also embarrassment, inconvenience and a huge headache.
Two types of identity scams in particular are on the rise. Read on to learn more about them and what you can do if you are accused of such crimes.
Application fraud is on the rise, costing more than $1 billion in fraud each year. This type of scam involves the use of stolen or fake documents to open a bank or credit card account in another person’s name.
Account takeover fraud is another growing scam. While not as popular as application fraud, it still amounts to $760 million in fraud per year. This type of identity theft involves the use of another person’s personal information, such as their email address. The scammer uses this information to log into a person’s account and change the settings so that the scammer receives all the communication instead of the actual account owner. This locks the victims out of their own accounts and causes their resources to be compromised.
Where are scammers finding your personal information? On the black market. For low amounts of money, a scammer can gain access to a PayPal account, Uber account and even a credit card number. A PayPal account with $500 may sell for $6-$7. An Uber account sells for under $4. A credit card number can be bought for just 22 cents.
These scams are typically not performed by a high school student or college-aged hacker. There are usually organized crime rings involved. Those involved often have access to the accounts before any fraud takes place. A scammer may prey upon a college student’s account and then commit the actual fraud years later, when the person is more established financially.
Stealing someone’s identity is not only illegal but morally wrong. If the situation were reversed, the scammer would be upset to have their personal information in the hands of a stranger. However, one key factor drives these scams: money.
Greed is, in many cases, the root of evil and it can lead to serious consequences for the scammer. Identity theft is considered a federal crime that can lead to many years in prison and significant fines. If you are facing charges, get help right away from the lawyers at The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Our Columbia internet crimes lawyers can help reduce your penalties. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule your consultation. We have two offices in Maryland to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044