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Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft Part 1

How To Arm Yourself Against The War On Your Identity

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: Sometimes It Is Good To Be Paranoid

 

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: The Question

A person once asked,

I use PayPal to accept credit cards for my online collectibles business. I recently received an email that my PayPal account was going to expire in five days if I didn’t click a link in the email and give them my PayPal account information. Being naturally paranoid I decided not to give this information and I’m happy to say that my PayPal account did not expire. Was this a scam?

 

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: The Answer

My response was:

Be thankful that your paranoia kicked in, because you were about to fall victim to the scam of the week, this one aimed at the 35 million merchants and individuals who use Paypal as their online payment processor.
The email you received was not from PayPal, but from an Internet bad guy behind a forged email address using the Paypal domain. You should understand that no reputable online company will ever ask you to provide your account information. Think about it. They already have this information. Why would they ask you to provide it.

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity TheftUnderstanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: Let’s Dive Deeper

Since I use PayPal for several of my online ventures, I, too, received the email in question. The email first seeks to instill fear in you by saying that your PayPal account will be closed if you do not provide personal information.

You are then directed to open an attached executable file and enter your PayPal account information and other personal information that PayPal doesn’t even require, including your social security number, checking and savings account information, driver’s license number, and other personal information that can be used to clean out your PayPal account and perhaps even steal your identity.

If you’re not familiar with PayPal, it is a hugely successful, web-based company (purchased by eBay in 2002) that many online retailers and eBay sellers use to accept electronic payments for everything from newsletter subscriptions to consulting services to just about any product for sale on eBay.

The allure of PayPal is that it does not require the seller to have a bank merchant account through which to process credit cards. Anyone with a verifiable email address and bank account can use PayPal and the service can be implemented almost immediately after registering.

When someone places an order on a website that uses PayPal for online payments, that customer is directed to Paypal to complete the payment process using a credit card or electronic check.

The merchant can transfer the money collected in his PayPal account to his checking account any time he likes. Since many larger merchants make this transfer just once a week or so, their PayPal accounts are ripe for the picking from those who have the cunning and lack of ethics required to gain access.

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: Why Paypal?

The shear number of PayPal customers is one reason it has become a popular target of scam artists trying to steal personal information from individuals and businesses alike.

Identify theft is on the rise. Thanks to the Internet stealing someone’s identity has never been easier. At any given moment, there are any number of Internet thieves using all manner of high tech wizardry to steal personal and business information from unsuspecting souls, and many times they can gain access to this information simply by asking the person to provide it through fraudulent means.

The PayPal scam is just the latest in a long line of sophisticated attempts to steal personal information through online means, Amazon, eBay, Dell Computer, and many others have been the brunt of many such scams in recent years.

Identity theft is what’s known as a knowledge crime, which means that the criminal doesn’t have to break into your house to rob you blind. If you have a bank account and a social security number, you are susceptible to identity theft.

This is a good stopping point for this post and we will continue in part 2 which can be accessed by clicking here.


Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft
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Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft

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Greg “Da Spokesman” Stargell

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Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft



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The Business Of Identity TheftLexisNexis Breach Highlights Identity Theft RisksHidden Risk of Identity Theft in CopiersGet Your Good Name Back with Identity Theft ProtectionIdentity TheftUncloaked: How hackers attacked The Everyday French ChefA Closer Look at the Red Flag RulesAs Holiday Shopping Begins, Experts Warn Consumers Should Be On Guard For Identity TheftDifferences Between Credit Card Fraud and Identity TheftLexisNexis Breach Highlights Identity Theft Risks
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