CCC Prevent Credit Fraud and Identity Theft Discussion

Credit fraud and Identity Theft are terms you hear is the news frequently. Unfortunately, they are often confused with each other. Credit or financial fraud is when someone uses your credit and account information. They may make charges on your credit, open new cards in your name or drain your bank accounts.

Identity theft is defined as the deliberate use of someone else’s identity. usually, as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person’s name,… . and perhaps to the other person’s disadvantage or loss. The person whose identity has been assumed may suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the perpetrator’s actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In many cases the he criminal opens new credit, rents a house or apartment, purchases items, such as cars, furniture, computers, etc., and opens utilities and phone accounts, all in your name. They will often live like this for several months. They pay the bills they accrue, build your credit so they can make more purchases, and in many ways are a model citizen. Because they go to great effort keeping your credit good, having everything directed to a new address, they may go unnoticed for months or even years. One of the most common reasons for identity theft is to hide criminal activities, especially those that are run out of a house (i.e. drug labs, fencing stolen goods, prostitution, etc.). The criminal will stay in the house until they suspect that people are catching on. Then they walk away. When this happens, they generally leave a large amount of debt, they don’t stop the utilities or lease. They just disappear. The first you may hear of this is when debt collectors start calling. Debt collectors will often look up previous addresses and attempt to make contact that way. This would be your first indication that someone has stolen your identity. When the criminal walks away, they leave your credit in ruin, and in some cases, leave you with criminal charges to straighten out. Identity theft is a lot harder to recover from than simple credit fraud.

What do you think you will do differently to help protect your identity? Are you doing anything different now than you were at the same time last year?


These are 2 students to respond to…

student #1

The differentiation between credit fraud and identity theft is crucial, and it’s alarming how the latter can have such long-term repercussions on an individual’s life. Having understood the gravity of these issues, I’ve been more proactive in ensuring my digital footprint is secure. Recently, I took a step to revoke access to my Google account from certain companies known for questionable surveillance practices. This move was driven by the desire to reduce potential threats to my personal information.

Although I have heard of services like LifeLock, which promises to protect one’s identity, I have yet to subscribe. As we progress in a digitized world where the risks are amplifying, it might be worthwhile to consider such protective measures. Additionally, I’ve been monitoring my credit reports, ensuring that all activities are accounted for and there aren’t any suspicious transactions.

Comparing my practices from a year ago, my awareness and steps have amplified. I try to use complex and different passwords for each account. The realization that there are entities out there that can meticulously build upon one’s credit, live under the radar, and then abandon it, leaving a trail of debt and potential criminal charges, is deeply unsettling. We must adapt and employ stricter measures to guard against these threats. In the coming months, I might delve deeper into understanding the nuances of identity protection services and perhaps integrate them.


student #2

I’m glad this section explained the differences between credit fraud and identity theft because I never really understood why a criminal would steal someone else’s identity besides monetary gain so learning about using someone’s name for fronting other illegal actions was very interesting. For myself personally, I have a bad habit of forgetting things that aren’t immediately on my person. Luckily that means my most valuable information like bank cards and ID are always on me, but things in a backpack or that i’m carrying are easy for me to forget if I’m preoccupied with something else because I’ll often forget to check behind me before leaving somewhere. With how much more common digital crime is becoming, leaving behind something like a laptop or tablet in a bag could cause as much damage as leaving behind a bank card in the hands of the wrong person. I’ve been trying to be more diligent about checking my things when I’m in a rush to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything but it still happens more often than I’d like it to, so that’s something I’m working on. On a separate note, I’ve also been in the habit of using a VPN more often when online, especially if I’m web browsing or downloading anything in a public place like a coffee shop to try and lower the chance of someone nefarious being able to peek in on what I’m doing and possibly steal information that way as well. This habit has been much easier for me as many VPNs only require one or two button presses to activate, the service is pretty inexpensive, and it’s definitely worth the peace of mind.


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