Identity Theft: What is it? How to combat it?
November 14, 2023
The dark world of identity theft has existed for a long time, but with the expansion of social networks, the rise of e-commerce, and the abundant digital offerings on the internet, the risk of an imposter assuming your identity has increased considerably. Identity theft involves the malicious and unauthorized use of your personal data by third parties with the aim of acting on your behalf.
While you might think that only public figures such as artists, politicians, or athletes are at risk of experiencing this type of crime, the truth is that cybercriminals are willing to take over any identity that allows them to commit digital fraud, make online payments and purchases, or access valuable information to carry out other scams.
In this article, we will explore in-depth the phenomenon of identity theft in the digital world, its dangers and consequences, as well as the measures we can take to protect ourselves from this disturbing and growing problem. Stay alert, your digital identity is at stake!
How identity theft works
Identity theft often begins with the sending of deceptive emails that appear to come from legitimate companies or government institutions. These emails often urge people to click on suspicious links that redirect them to fake websites that perfectly mimic the look of official sites. Once there, victims are asked to enter their personal information, which is then captured by the scammers.
Another common tactic is the use of fake phone calls, where criminals pretend to be representatives of legitimate companies and request confidential information over the phone. They can also send manipulated text messages containing malicious links.
Types of identity theft: most common cases
As we have seen, no one is immune to online identity theft. It only takes one click on an improper site, even by mistake, to open the doors wide for cybercriminals.
Here are some of the most common cases where identity theft can occur:
Using our ID document
Loss or theft of the National ID document is a common way for identity theft to occur. Sending images or copies of the ID document over the internet, under the pretext of sales or procedures, is also a technique used by scammers to obtain personal information. The consequences can be serious, including ID forgery for malicious purposes, accumulating debts in the victim's name, and inclusion in delinquency lists.
Forgery of someone else's signature is also a common method of identity theft. This is considered a crime when used to obtain economic benefits or cause harm, such as buying properties or paying debts.
Advancements in technology have facilitated identity theft through credit cards. It is commonly done in two ways: card-not-present fraud, carried out through phishing emails that seek to steal personal or financial information, and card-present fraud, which involves cloning physical cards in commercial establishments.
Identity theft over the phone is more common than one might think. Criminals can hire telecommunications services using basic personal data, such as name, ID, and account number. In these cases, the situation should be reported to the telecommunications company and local authorities.
SIM card identity theft
Criminals can request a replacement of our SIM card if they obtain enough information, such as the ID, allowing them to access personal data and accounts associated with two-step verification.
Identity theft on the Internet
In the digital era, there are multiple ways to impersonate identities online. Hackers use spam and phishing to steal personal and financial data from users. They can also impersonate profiles on social networks and emails, leading to serious crimes.
Tips to prevent identity theft online
In the current digital world, safeguarding our information should be a priority. To prevent criminals from attempting to impersonate your identity and deceive you, it is essential to be cautious at all times. Avoid sharing sensitive personal information on social networks or emails, and be careful when providing data on untrusted websites. The less information you share, the harder it will be for criminals to trace your path.
Keep your electronic devices updated with the latest software versions and security patches. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Additionally, consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of protection on your accounts.
When browsing the internet, make sure the websites you visit have secure connections (https) and are official. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and be wary of unsolicited emails or unknown senders.
When making online purchases or using your bank card for payments at establishments, ensure that the websites or payment terminals are secure and encrypted. Never share your banking information through email or text messages.
Stay informed about the latest identity theft techniques and share this knowledge with your family and friends. Education and awareness are key to preventing online fraud and scams.
How to Act in Case of Identity Theft
When facing identity theft, it is essential to act quickly and effectively to protect your data and mitigate any potential harm. Here is a guide on how to act if you become a victim of this crime in the digital world.
First and foremost, remain calm and do not panic. Recognizing the situation and acting promptly is essential. If you detect suspicious activities or receive unusual notifications, take immediate action.
Next, contact the appropriate authorities. Inform the Police about the identity theft and provide all relevant details. The more information you can provide, the higher the chances of tracking down the criminals.
In addition, contact your financial institution and the affected service providers. Notify them of any unauthorized activity on your bank accounts or credit cards. Also, inform telecommunications companies if you discover any service subscriptions made in your name.
Gather all possible evidence related to the identity theft, such as fraudulent emails, suspicious messages, or unusual activities in your accounts. This information will be useful to support your case before the authorities and involved entities.
Once you have taken these measures, remain vigilant and continue monitoring your accounts and personal data.
Didit as a solution to identity theft
Didit stands out as an advanced and reliable solution that addresses one of the greatest challenges of our time: online identity theft. With Didit, users have the power to control and manage their digital identity securely and efficiently across multiple platforms. Additionally, businesses can easily integrate this solution into their websites to provide their customers with a seamless and highly secure experience.
Decentralized technology forms the fundamental pillar of Didit, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of personal information. Users can enjoy a faster and more convenient identification process, while businesses gain a secure way to interact with their audience. Didit emerges as the leading solution against identity theft, providing robust protection and an exceptional user experience.
Are you ready to take a leap towards secure digital identity? Discover Didit and experience worry-free online interactions.