ID Thieves – Why it’s a Growing Industry

Well there’s one very good reason why there are so many id thieves, people are just a little bit stupid when it comes to the internet and stuff like social media.  I mean we all know people who post every facet of their lives online.

Stuff like –

  • where they are,
  • what they are doing
  • who they are with, etc,etc

There was actually a web site which actually collated all this ‘check in data’ together with social comments to predict what people were doing, where they lived etc.  It’s been taken down now, but I’m damn sure it’s still being used somewhere to target people for identity theft or just old fashioned burglary.

Imagine this, a hi-tech thief could easily sit and target wealthy individuals from their home.  Wait until he receives an alert that they are on holiday, a rough approximation of their home plus some useful further information – perhaps a couple of photos of their house, type of car etc.  Locate the house, whilst they are in Florida for three weeks then make their getaway.  It’s not far fetched as it’s perfectly possible now.

Here’s another example of how people ‘leak information’ online – got to a Google search pages and type this – index.of.dcim

What you will see is pages and pages of links to peoples photo’s which have been backed up or dumped online.   Some will be aware these are public, many will not and most contain lots of useful information for identity thieves.    Many of these directories have been dumped directly from a digital camera or a smartphone.

For example I looked on the first few pages and found photo’s of a French couple, but also in a sub-directory was a selection of business documents including letters, lists of competitors and rates plus loads of other sensitive stuff.  Their photo directory also had pictures of the family, house, cars and holidays – a huge amount of data for anyone involved in identity theft.  I obviously won’t post anything up but believe me it took no more than ten minutes of browsing with no special tools to find the following –

  • Names of all the family
  • D.O.B of two of them
  • Full Home Address
  • Company Name and Address
  • List of Business Competitors and Rates
  • Company Directors and Shareholders
  • Car Registration Numbers
  • Various numbers – one looked like a French Social Security Number

This stuff is a gold mine for an identity thief looking at making money out of your identity.  The method might vary – applying for new credit cards in your name, reissuing your current cards and intercepting them or perhaps they need a false passport or drivers licence.    Armed with this sort of personal background their are so many options perhaps they’ll keep the attack completely digital and try and gain access to your online accounts instead.  One things for sure there’s a whole host of possibilities for the clued up cyber criminal and no end of problems for the victim.

It’s not just camera’s though there are searches for smartphone and even these for video cams – lots of them legitimately open to the internet.  But scroll though and you can see many of them set are up to watch homes and businesses.   Just search for these terms –

inurl:”Viewerframe?Mode=”

camera – user login”

SNC-RZ30 Home

Basically if you’re only a little bit worried about your digital identity leaking online, then you’ll need to move up to a much higher plain of paranoia.  Wait till you see my next few posts !!!

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2 Responses

  1. Denisha says:

    My friend was burgled whilst on holiday, she’s pretty sure that it’s related to her posting lots of pictures on Facebook while on holiday. She did have a lot of Facebook friends !

    • says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised Denisha, many criminals are using social media to research their targets. One of the common tactics is to target teenagers who post lots especially on holiday, many will almost automatically accepts friends requests too. All they need to do is build up a list of thousands of local youngsters and then identify their home addresses (not hard), wait until they’re on holiday and visit their house. I do school lectures on this stuff and some children have literally thousands of internet ‘friends’

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