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The Resource Center Online Security Issues & Protection | article

Spam, phishing and theft of identity

by Angela Lauria on

Criminals who are looking to commit ID theft are constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to dupe consumers, as individuals are increasingly getting more savvy to the risks and scams pertaining to theft of identity. This is especially true online, where people conduct boatloads of personal transactions that leave their personal identification information exposed for people to steal.

Spam

Essentially, spam is the equivalent of the junk mail you receive that isn’t targeted specifically at you but any individual willing to read it over. While not all spam is necessarily going to result in an incidence of ID theft, there is always the risk that there could be malicious viruses or malware hidden in one of these messages that you could get exposed to.

Phishing

This activity involves fraudsters actively seeking to get your personal or financial information to commit theft of identity by placing viruses or malware within emails or websites that appear less harmful than they actually are.

Another version of this activity is a highly targeted practice called spear phishing, which has hackers aiming their phishing campaigns at businesses or other corporations to get specified information. While a standard phishing scam may simply search for any information they can use to commit theft of identity, these campaigns have a specific goal in mind.

Be careful about internet correspondence with any parties whose identity you cannot verify. This way, you mitigate your odds of becoming a victim of ID theft.


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