Horrifying Ways Cybercriminals Use Your Identity

By Jared Shurtz
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As the world of electronics continues to become more and more advanced, cybercriminals continue to find new ways of tracking down and stealing your identity. By stepping up their game, cybercriminals are able to steal your identity and use it in ways that would scare you more than even the most horrifying haunted house.

Identity theft is becoming more common by the minute. In the face of this reality, many of you may have a paper shredder at home to ensure that your personal information that's down on paper is safe. While this is a good practice, every time you turn on your computer you put yourself at risk. A cybercriminal could be snooping around your computer at any time, with the goal to set traps to capture your personal information and your identity. The ways in which these criminals discover and use your identity are downright horrifying.

Everyone knows a little about the black market and knows that such a market is illegal and not something to mess with in general. However, for cybercriminals, the online black market is a Halloween funhouse where they can trade and sell your stolen identity to people around the world. Cybercriminals make a killing off of the millions of identities stolen each year. They have created quite a market for buying and selling your credit card information, bank account information or just about anything else you value.

Once your identity has been stolen, cybercriminals access an invitation-only Internet Relay Chat site with around 100,000 other cybercriminals and begin auctioning off your identity – and you are part of their online trick or treat. They have tricked you into giving away your identity, and in return, they are treated to a large lump sum of cash. Sadly, your identity only goes for around $10 on the open market, which means they need to steal a lot of identities to make a profit. In addition to credit card information, cybercriminals are always on the lookout for Social Security numbers (SSN), which can be used to establish additional lines of credit.

No matter where your identity ends up, the person falsely using your name, date of birth, SSN and address can bury you six feet under by the time you realize you identity has been stolen and work through the recovery process. To ensure you don't end up in next year's haunted house insane asylum, never open a random email, never give any of your personal information away to third party groups and always report lost credit cards immediately.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world because it takes very little time to accomplish, and if it's done correctly, it is almost impossible to track. Take the steps necessary to avoid the horrors of identity theft, and as always, keep your computers up to date with privacy and anti-virus software.

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