Identity Theft (ID Theft)
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This term is used to refer to fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else to steal money or get get other benefits. The person whose identity countries, surfer various consequences when he/she is held responsible for the perpetrator's. In many countries, specific laws make it a crime to use another person's identity for personal gain. ID theft is a punishable offense under the Indian IT Act (Section 66C and 66D)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided the statistics about each one of the identity fraud mentioning prime frauds presented below.

1. Credit card fraud $(26 \%)$: The highest rated fraud that can occur is when someone acquires the victim's credit card number and uses it to make a purchase.

2. Bank fraud $(17 \%):$ Besides credit card fraud, cheque theft and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) pass code theft have been reported that are possible with ID theft.

3. Employment fraud $(12 \%)$: In this fraud, the attacker borrows the victim's valid SSN to obtain a job.

4. Government fraud $(9 \%):$ This type of fraud includes SSN, driver license and income tax fraud.

5. Loan fraud $(5 \%):$ It occurs when the attacker applies for a loan on the victim's name and this can occur even if the SSN does not match the name exactly.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

The fraudsters attempts to steal the elements mentioned below, which can express the purpose of distinguishing individual identity:

  1. Full name;
  2. National identification number (e.g, SSN);
  3. Telephone number and mobile phone number;
  4. Driver's license number;
  5. Credit card numbers;
  6. Digital identity (e.g, E-Mail address, online account ID and password);
  7. Birth date/birth day;
  8. Birthplace;
  9. Face and fingerprints.

The fraudster may search for following about an individual, which is less often used to distinguish individual identity; however these can be categorized as potentially PII because they can be combined with other personal information to identify an individual.

  1. First or last name;
  2. Age;
  3. Country, state or city of residence;
  4. Gender;
  5. Name of the school/college/workplace;
  6. Job position, grades and/or salary;
  7. Criminal record.

The information can be further classified as (a) non-classified and (b) classified.

1. Non-classified information

  • Public information: Information that is a matter of public record or knowledge.
  • Personal information: Information belongs to a private individual but the individual commonly may share this information with others for personal or business reasons (e.g., addresses, telephone numbers and E-Mail addresses).
  • Routine business information: Business information that do not require any special protection and may be routinely shared with anyone inside or outside of the business.
  • Private information: Information that can be private if associated with an individual and individual can object in case of disclosure (e.g. SSN, credit card numbers and other financial information).
  • Confidential business information: Information which, if disclosed, may harm the business e.g., sales and marketing plans, new product plans and notes associated with patentable inventions).

2. Classified information,

  • Confidential: Information that requires protection and unauthorized disclosure could damage national security (e.g., information about strength of armed forces and technical information about weapons).
  • Secret: Information that requires substantial protection and unauthorized disclosure could seriously damage national security (e.g., national security policy, military plans or intelligence. operations).
  • Top secret: Information that requires the highest degree of protection and unauthorized disclosure could severely damage national security (e.g., vital defense plans and cryptologic intelligence systems).
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