How Thieves Use Facebook To Steal Your Identity

This article blew my mind how easy it is to steal an identity from facebook. There are other steps, but it starts with facebook and just gets EASIER with each successive step. This is why I don’t put my actual birth date on our FB info. The upshot is that everyone thinks I just turned 40.

“Now ID thieves are mining the mother lode of personal information: social networking sites such as Facebook. These websites are especially dangerous because users’ guards are down, thinking the only people accessing their page are “friends.” Often, someone will list juicy tidbits such as their birthday, the name of a parent or sibling, their home address, vacations they’ve recently taken, schools they’ve attended, the car they own, their pets- in other words, the answers to some of the most common security questions you must respond to order to gain access to website’s containing extremely sensitive personal data- investment and accounts, government records, etc. 

“These social websites truly don’t care about your privacy. They want you to put as much out there [as you’re willing to]. They want to exploit it,” says Woolsey. “It’s consumer beware.”

After gathering what they can on a social networking website, a skilled identity thief can head to job sites such as LinkedIn and Monster.com to see if you’ve posted a resume. Now they know about your professional background, places you’ve worked, and degrees you hold. Next stop: Ancestry.com where, armed with a ream of inside information about you, Blank says they can fake a membership in your name. This allows them to uncover the magic key to the kingdom, the most common piece of personal information that must be provided in order to access financial accounts: your mother’s maiden name!

It’s that simple.

Really.”

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About Jeff

Long time volunteer in the San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area of Arizona.

Posted on November 3, 2011, in Facebook, Safety Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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