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Other type of Identity Theft includes bank fraud, credit card fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, social program fraud, tax refund fraud, mail fraud, and several more.
How does it happen? As I said earlier, it’s not at all necessary for criminal to be present near you to steal your personal information. In public places, for example, criminals may engage in shoulder surfing—watching you from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or credit card number or listen in on your conversation if you give your credit-card number over telephone to a hotel or rental car company. Shoulder surfing might also allow people to view your email message, in case you happen to be surfing Net in a public place. Even area near your home or office may not be secure. Some criminals might just go through your garbage cans or trash bin, to obtain copies of your checks, credit card or bank statements that you might have just "thrown" into garbage can.
Just one wrong mouse click, while you are hooked up to Net, might also land you in trouble. The criminal might just spam you with unsolicited email that contains an attachment - perhaps Pamela Anderson's picture. You might just click over attachment in excitement and then nothing happens on screen. You delete mail thinking that file must have been corrupted. But little did you realize that "picture" was actually a key logger or a Trojan in disguise. A key logger is a simple program that runs in background, recording every keystroke of yours and then makes it accessible to criminal, when you log onto Internet. A Trojan on other hand does more - it might just allow criminal to take over your PC remotely, allowing criminal to scan through your hard drives for personal information.
Other ways might include false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges - which criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name.
So how do you prevent your identity from being stolen? Watch this space for more soon…
* This article first appeared in www.TheCheers.org
Chris N. Fernando is a Sr. Staff Writer with Magazine 360 - an IT magazine published by ITNation, Mumbai (India). He has also worked as Technical Editor with Peer Technical Services and as Reporter for PCQuest and Living Digital magazines. He also writes for www.TheCheers.org.
Get more of him at: www.chrisfernando.tk Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org