Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Infant identity theft, and "phone denial of service attacks" covered by AOL article

AOL’s walletpop offered an article this morning about child identity theft and several other scams, link here.

The infant id theft occurs when new social security numbers of babies are lifted and used to create fake people years before the kids will need to act as their own “number holders”. But during the teen years, parents might get sudden calls from debt collectors or run into issues when the kids apply for college. Lenders don’t seem to have adequate programs in place to detect social security numbers that may be those of infants. ‘

The article also describes (with another link within Walletpop) a bizarre and “creative” scheme using old technology, the “phone denial of service attack”. Months after the target has given out information in a phishing attack, criminals tie up users’ phones while trying to empty bank accounts, often impersonating the victims with separate lines. Banks don’t seem to have caught up with how to intercept these schemes. However, cell phone users, and people who check their accounts frequently online (generally younger customers) are much less likely to become victims.

There are also timeshare scams and fake auto dealer scams. Most of these can’t work with consumers who are more prudent with their habits.

The article discusses various schemes to defraud seniors, who may sometimes have lost reasoning ability before noticeable memory loss and be gullible for scams.

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