What is identity theft?

In recent years, identity theft has become a growing problem, which is nagging many Internet users. Only in Spain, around 4 million cases were registered in 2018, exceeding the European average.

Identity theft is a malicious practice, which is considered a computer crime. It consists of impersonating another person through photos, social media accounts, or credit cards, for example. The objective is to access some type of benefit to which you are not entitled.

Cyber ​​fraud affects both individuals and companies. In fact, cases of identity theft of entities and organizations are increasingly common to damage their corporate image and cause problems.

What are the types of identity theft?

Have you ever stopped to think about the different types of identity theft that exist?

To fully understand the context of this type of fraud, it is important to keep in mind that there are different types and that they will continue to emerge. Some examples are:

  • Synthetic Impersonation : The cybercriminal mixes the victim’s real information (of course, stolen data) with false information to create a new identity (with which to make fraudulent payments, etc.).
  • Tax Impersonation : It is used to deceive institutions about refunds or false tax returns.
  • Child impersonation : The fraudster uses the Identity of a child to obtain benefits.
  • Medical impersonation : The cybercriminal impersonates someone else to obtain medical data or free care.
  • Criminal Impersonation : The theft of personal information is used to avoid court orders, arrests, convictions, etc.

All these practices endanger the real data of the impersonated person, as well as their privacy.

How do you spoof your identity? Techniques to impersonate the identity

Impersonation begins with the theft of the victim’s data. Once the offender has the information he needs, she can start committing a crime.

How do they carry out this data theft? The three major blocks or means to steal a person’s identity are:

No internet access

Cybercriminals don’t need the internet to steal data and have been doing so for years. Mail theft, observation, or shoulder surfing are examples of common ways of stealing personal information.

Without internet access, but with technology

This block includes practices such as card cloning, vishing or smishing .

With internet access

The ease of identity theft on the internet goes through techniques such as spam , spim , phishing or pharming .

Believe it or not, any company or person is susceptible to this type of crime. In fact, you just have to look at the company Facebook or Google to see how they were deceived by a cybercriminal between 2013 and 2015,

Believe it or not, any company or person is susceptible to this type of crime. In fact, you only have to look at the company Facebook or Google to see how they were deceived by a cybercriminal between 2013 and 2015, who managed to steal more of 100 million euros to these great technology companies.

What do cybercriminals use your identity for? Why are they impersonating you?

The most valuable thing that exists on the internet is the intimate and confidential information of people . And that’s what cybercriminals who steal sensitive data are interested in.

Once personal information is stolen, the criminal usually does two things: sell the data obtained or use that data for criminal activities .

In the event that the criminal decides to sell the data, there are large companies whose marketing model consists of buying people’s information from third parties to make calls, spam or sell products.

On the other hand, if the criminal decides to use this data himself, he can use it for activities such as opening bank accounts, making transfers, making online purchases, registering household supplies or, one of the most famous, contracting lines telephone, etc.

What crime is impersonation?

identity theft is registered as a crime in the Spanish Penal Code, which is based on impersonating another person to obtain a benefit to which they are not entitled.

Some of the most common identity theft crimes are:

  • The creation of accounts in social networks impersonating another person.
  • The publication of the personal information of a third party on the internet.
  • Insults, slander or vexatious actions using the personal identity of another individual.
  • Identity fraud in online shopping processes.

To demonstrate the facts mentioned here, it is essential to have corroborating computer evidence , where the figure of the forensic computer expert becomes crucial in legal proceedings on identity theft.

How does identity verification prevent identity theft?

Identity theft is a problem that affects more than 7% of the Spanish population , which makes it necessary to verify identity through tools or supports that facilitate this.

Given the multiple ways that exist to ensure that a person is who they say they are, and thus prevent a crime of identity theft from being incurred, there is the safest and most reliable option of all: the facial recognition

Fortunately, the integration of the biometric verification service offered by Alice Biometrics is one of the most robust security limitations against criminals, which is a great advantage for those who purchase it. This biometric service will be able to prevent different types of identity fraud and will implement double authentication factor solutions for individuals and companies that need to alleviate these security gaps.

We talk about this on LinkedIn.

If you liked it, share it on