At it's core, Les Mis is a story about Identity Fraud! It's the story of a man, seemingly wrongly convicted, who operates under a false identity in order to be able to live his life. It's a common literary theme, used in stories like Martin Guirre, The Count of Monte Cristo and Matchstick Men. In "olden times", Identity Fraud penalties were very serious. Today... not as much. Last time we started a discussion of Identity Fraud - we'll continue our discussion of this topic.
Breaches of online merchant websites and databases get a lot of media attention. But there are many ways ID fraud is committed including:
- Shoulder Surfing - this means someone looking over your shoulder, for example when you enter your PIN at an ATM
- Dumpster Diving - it's amazing what people throw away
- Mailbox theft - checks, financial statements and other sensitive documents get stolen from mailboxes
- Stolen purse, wallet, laptop, tablet, phone - these all contain plenty of personal information
- Social Engineering - be careful about what information you give out about yourself
- Phishing - email or phone - con artists will call or email pretending to be your bank, law enforcement or other authority and ask you for information.
- Social media - do you really know who your "friends" are?... there are all kinds of requests and information gathering schemes
- Copy-cat websites - it's pretty easy for scam artists to create a fake site that looks just like your bank's website, perhaps with a misspelled URL like nationa1bank.com (that's a one instead of an L), and then collect the info you enter.
- By known or unknown thieves! - some ID thieves know their victims.
So many choices!