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Categories of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a rising issue, particularly with the evolution of technology that involves any theft of one’s personal information like a name or date of birth. (ASIC, 2018) When a fraudster is in possession of another’s identity, they can use this information for a variety of purposes such as opening bank accounts or applying for a passport. The severity of identity crime is both financially and emotionally tolling for victims and continues to be a key enabler of organised crime in Australian society. Identity theft can fall into five different categories (Criminal, Financial, Identity cloning, Medical Identity and Child Identity) each have different prevalence in different countries. The prevailing threat of identity theft is influenced by a countries social landscape and government regulations. Traditionally, identity theft rates in Sweden have been lower than the rest of the world due to only Swedish documents being accepted as identity verification, tightening the control of documents passed through the system. However, their open data policy doesn’t align with the digital age that society is moving into. The transparency of information available to governments, corporations and individuals (Lallerstedt and Johansen, 2018) now presents a threat to citizens as Sweden now ranks as 10th on Symantec’s world list of identity theft prevalence. The rise of digitisation also brings synthetic identity theft as a new threat posed to society. This type of fraud differs from others in that perpetrators create a new fake identity, rather than stealing an existing one. (McIntyre, 2018) Although the world seems to be ruled by technology, this new technique is a remind to banks and companies to push customer service in their operations, as ultimately knowing their customer will help to highlight suspicious accounts, and ultimately decrease the occurrence of identity theft.

Moreover, through the use of technology systems, there has been a drastic increase of identity theft in Australia throughout recent years. In 2016 there was an 80% increase in identity theft cases as cyber criminals target online data (smh, 2016). The evolution of technology has enabled individuals to store and share data online. As convenient as it may be, this has also resulted in vulnerability for internet users and modern society. On average, every 20 seconds an Australian becomes a victim of the silent crime. This means that statistically, every 1 in 5 australians have been a victim at one point of their life (homeaffairs, 2018). With the given statistics, this suggest that identity theft is more frequent than such crimes including; robbery, motor vehicle theft, household break-ins and assault. Most victims of identity theft statistically lose $400 or less in consequence of identity theft, but this could lead up to, and is not limited to hundreds of thousands (abc, 2018) . There are plenty of information and resources that could help maintain a victims financial house, but it is often met with devastating hidden cost such as the emotional toll of identity theft. Identity theft is an invisible crime that is very detrimental to an individuals health and wellbeing (Javelin, 2018), 10% of identity crime victims suffered mental or emotional distress (homeaffairs, 2018). Furthermore, as a result of the frequent occurrence of identity theft, 1 in 14 citizens are wrongly accused of the crime. Due to the silent nature of identity theft, identity crime is underreported, with one in three victims of the crime not reporting the incident due to several factors including embarrassment, or ignorance in reporting. Of the 33% of australians not reporting the crime, most of the victims did not believe the police or authority would be able to do anything about the incident and many did not know how or where to report the situation (homeaffairs, 2018). It is important to educate and impose knowledge on Identity theft onto others to reduce the recurrent nature of the crime.  

Prevalence of Identity Theft

Recommendation 1:
Identity theft can be prevented with a variety of methods, both in person and online. A recommendation towards this issue is protecting credit card identity. In this generation, credit card usage is a necessity to the daily lives of many, allowing efficient purchases and transactions of goods,  but it is vulnerable to many acts of identity thefts. These acts include; ‘shoulder surfing’, spying over a person’s shoulder whilst they make a cash transaction at an ATM, ‘skimming’, allowing credit card transaction with the use of RFID (Radio-frequency identification) devices and ‘dumpster diving’, thieves who search for identify information that has been discarded in the rubbish. To stop shoulder surfing, people who wish to withdraw or deposit cash would need to make sure their details are inputted safely without anyone watching from behind. Skimming can be prevented by allowing safe credit card keeping for example, having it safely protected on them at all times. Additionally, purchasing a RFID sleeve for the credit card can block the signals from the RFID device and the credit card, keeping the person’s identity safe. Lastly, to avoid acts of dumpster diving, information regarding to one’s identity should be kept safe and securely, and if it is longer needed, crossing out information ID with a pen or an ID roller stamp will help the ID become hard to decode. By following these steps, identity theft can be prevented from these acts of identity theft.


Recommendation 2: 
In addition, online identity protection can address identity thief issues as well. With internet and social media channels very active in modern society, cyber criminals have the potential to access personal information easily. People are still vulnerable to cyber-attacks, even though they are discreet with their privacy settings. If the third party could access their profile, all information that has been recorded can be utilised to hack into their different records. This could be prevented by managing information in social media profile. Important personal information such as address, date of birth, and phone numbers can be potentially used by hackers to gain more knowledge. Passwords are also an essential tool to protect our online identity. Many people use passwords that are easy to remember, but it also means that it can be easily guessed. It suggested that we strengthen our passwords and use different ones for every account and devices to prevent the thieves access all private information at once. Another recommendation is to only shop on secured online sites. Always make sure there is a slock padlock in the browser before entering card details and never put card details on websites. Moreover, be careful with phishing emails as there are more spam emails sent. Do not respond to any email that require to put personal information or password and it is better to delete the email.  Lastly, we should always keep an eye to our bank statement. If there are any unfamiliar transactions occurred, we should tell the bank immediately to solve this issue and prevent our identity being stolen. 

Categories of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a rising issue, particularly with the evolution of technology that involves any theft of one’s personal information like a name or date of birth. (ASIC, 2018) When a fraudster is in possession of another’s identity, they can use this information for a variety of purposes such as opening bank accounts or applying for a passport. The severity of identity crime is both financially and emotionally tolling for victims and continues to be a key enabler of organised crime in Australian society. Identity theft can fall into five different categories (Criminal, Financial, Identity cloning, Medical Identity and Child Identity) each have different prevalence in different countries. The prevailing threat of identity theft is influenced by a countries social landscape and government regulations. Traditionally, identity theft rates in Sweden have been lower than the rest of the world due to only Swedish documents being accepted as identity verification, tightening the control of documents passed through the system. However, their open data policy doesn’t align with the digital age that society is moving into. The transparency of information available to governments, corporations and individuals (Lallerstedt and Johansen, 2018) now presents a threat to citizens as Sweden now ranks as 10th on Symantec’s world list of identity theft prevalence. The rise of digitisation also brings synthetic identity theft as a new threat posed to society. This type of fraud differs from others in that perpetrators create a new fake identity, rather than stealing an existing one. (McIntyre, 2018) Although the world seems to be ruled by technology, this new technique is a remind to banks and companies to push customer service in their operations, as ultimately knowing their customer will help to highlight suspicious accounts, and ultimately decrease the occurrence of identity theft.

Moreover, through the use of technology systems, there has been a drastic increase of identity theft in Australia throughout recent years. In 2016 there was an 80% increase in identity theft cases as cyber criminals target online data (smh, 2016). The evolution of technology has enabled individuals to store and share data online. As convenient as it may be, this has also resulted in vulnerability for internet users and modern society. On average, every 20 seconds an Australian becomes a victim of the silent crime. This means that statistically, every 1 in 5 australians have been a victim at one point of their life (homeaffairs, 2018). With the given statistics, this suggest that identity theft is more frequent than such crimes including; robbery, motor vehicle theft, household break-ins and assault. Most victims of identity theft statistically lose $400 or less in consequence of identity theft, but this could lead up to, and is not limited to hundreds of thousands (abc, 2018) . There are plenty of information and resources that could help maintain a victims financial house, but it is often met with devastating hidden cost such as the emotional toll of identity theft. Identity theft is an invisible crime that is very detrimental to an individuals health and wellbeing (Javelin, 2018), 10% of identity crime victims suffered mental or emotional distress (homeaffairs, 2018). Furthermore, as a result of the frequent occurrence of identity theft, 1 in 14 citizens are wrongly accused of the crime. Due to the silent nature of identity theft, identity crime is underreported, with one in three victims of the crime not reporting the incident due to several factors including embarrassment, or ignorance in reporting. Of the 33% of australians not reporting the crime, most of the victims did not believe the police or authority would be able to do anything about the incident and many did not know how or where to report the situation (homeaffairs, 2018). It is important to educate and impose knowledge on Identity theft onto others to reduce the recurrent nature of the crime.  

Prevalence of Identity Theft

Identity theft can be prevented with a variety of methods, both in person and online. A recommendation towards this issue is protecting credit card identity. In this generation, credit card usage is a necessity to the daily lives of many, allowing efficient purchases and transactions of goods, but it is vulnerable to many acts of identity thefts. These acts include; ‘shoulder surfing’, spying over a person’s shoulder whilst they make a cash transaction at an ATM, ‘skimming’, allowing credit card transaction with the use of RFID (Radio-frequency identification) devices and ‘dumpster diving’, thieves who search for identify information that has been discarded in the rubbish. To stop shoulder surfing, people who wish to withdraw or deposit cash would need to make sure their details are inputted safely without anyone watching from behind. Skimming can be prevented by allowing safe credit card keeping for example, having it safely protected on them at all times. Additionally, purchasing a RFID sleeve for the credit card can block the signals from the RFID device and the credit card, keeping the person’s identity safe. Lastly, to avoid acts of dumpster diving, information regarding to one’s identity should be kept safe and securely, and if it is longer needed, crossing out information ID with a pen or an ID roller stamp will help the ID become hard to decode. By following these steps, identity theft can be prevented from these acts of identity theft.

In addition, online identity protection can address identity thief issues as well. With internet and social media channels very active in modern society, cyber criminals have the potential to access personal information easily. People are still vulnerable to cyber-attacks, even though they are discreet with their privacy settings. If the third party could access their profile, all information that has been recorded can be utilised to hack into their different records. This could be prevented by managing information in social media profile. Important personal information such as address, date of birth, and phone numbers can be potentially used by hackers to gain more knowledge. Passwords are also an essential tool to protect our online identity. Many people use passwords that are easy to remember, but it also means that it can be easily guessed. It suggested that we strengthen our passwords and use different ones for every account and devices to prevent the thieves access all private information at once. Another recommendation is to only shop on secured online sites. Always make sure there is a slock padlock in the browser before entering card details and never put card details on websites. Moreover, be careful with phishing emails as there are more spam emails sent. Do not respond to any email that require to put personal information or password and it is better to delete the email.  Lastly, we should always keep an eye to our bank statement. If there are any unfamiliar transactions occurred, we should tell the bank immediately to solve this issue and prevent our identity being stolen.

Conclusion

In today’s modern world, identity theft has become a common issue. The main reason behind the occurrence of this issue is the evolution of technology with the help of which it is very easy to use the personal information of other person for own benefit. The five categories of identity theft include criminal, financial, identity cloning, medical identity and child identity and its prevalence is influenced by the government regulations and social landscape of the countries. Synthetic identity theft has also emerged with the rise of digitalization and therefore, the banks and companies are expected to push customer service in their operations for the purpose of decreasing the occurrence of such identity thefts. The transparency of information available to governments, corporations and individuals has increased the prevalence of identity theft in Sweden.

Identity theft has also increased in Australia due to the use of technology systems. The data can now be easily stored and shared by the individuals. Identity theft is more frequent in Australia than other crimes such as robbery, motor vehicle theft, household break-ins and assault. Emotional and mental distress is suffered by the victims of identity theft. It is often believed by the victims that reporting such crimes will not be helpful and therefore they do not report such incidents to the police. Education should be provided regarding these identity thefts to the general public in order to reduce its recurrent nature. Therefore, it is recommended that such issues should be addressed with the help of online identity and credit card identity protection.

References

ASIC, (2018). Identity Fraud. [online] Available at: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/other-scams/identity-fraud [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Lallerstedt, K. and Johansen, L. (2018). The Trouble with Transparency: Increased identity fraud in Sweden’s digital age. [online] Available at: https://globalinitiative.net/21752-2/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Forbes (2018). The Battle Against Synthetic Identity Fraud Is Just Beginning. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanmcintyre/2018/02/07/the-battle-against-synthetic-identity-fraud-is-just-beginning/#6abf2d3a4ca0 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Identity Theft Resource Center. (2018). PRIVACY AND IDENTITY THEFT - Identity Theft Resource Center. [online] Available at: https://www.idtheftcenter.org/privacy-and-identity-theft/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].

Grimes. R 2018, The truth about RFID credit card fraud, CSO Online. Viewed 19th September 2018, <https://www.csoonline.com/article/3243089/cyber-attacks-espionage/the-truth-about-rfid-credit-card-fraud.html>

2018, 7 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft, Smead.com. Viewed 19th September 2018, <https://www.smead.com/hot-topics/preventing-identity-theft-1377.asp>

2018, Dumpster Diving: Identity Theft, Social-engineer org. Viewed 19th September 2018, <https://www.social-engineer.org/wiki/archives/DumpsterDiving/Dumpster_Diving.htm>

SMH News. 2018. Identity theft surges 80 per cent as cyber criminals target online data veda - Smh News. Viewed 19th September 2018

<https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/identity-theft-surges-80-per-cent-as-cyber-criminals-target-online-data-veda-20161124-gswiuc.html>

ABC News. 2018. Australian Medicare fraud revealed in new figures, 1,116 tip-offs so far this financial year - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Viewed 19th September 2018

<https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-06/australians-defrauding-medicare-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars/5302584>

Javelin. 2018. A New Identity Fraud Victim Every Two Seconds in 2013 According to Latest Javelin Strategy & Research Study | Javelin. Viewed 19th September 2018 <https://www.javelinstrategy.com/press-release/new-identity-fraud-victim-every-two-seconds-2013-according-latest-javelin-strategy>

identity-security/id-crime-australia, homeaffairs.gov. Viewed 19thSeptember 2018

<https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/crime/identity-security/id-crime-australia>

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2021). Identity Theft: Risks, Prevalence, And Prevention. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt5004-researching-organisation-and-management/government-regulations-and-social-landscape.html.

My Assignment Help (2021) Identity Theft: Risks, Prevalence, And Prevention [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt5004-researching-organisation-and-management/government-regulations-and-social-landscape.html
[Accessed 20 May 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Identity Theft: Risks, Prevalence, And Prevention' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt5004-researching-organisation-and-management/government-regulations-and-social-landscape.html> accessed 20 May 2024.

My Assignment Help. Identity Theft: Risks, Prevalence, And Prevention [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 20 May 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/mgmt5004-researching-organisation-and-management/government-regulations-and-social-landscape.html.

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