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Social Networking and the Identity Theft Flu

Identity Thieves Getting Smarter
Identity thieves are savvy. They learned long ago that obvious grabs for your personal information garner far fewer suckers than a more subtle grift. One of the more recent inventive schemes is abusing social networks by turning the scam into a game. According to PC World’s blog, scammers are now leveraging your friends to learn answers to your online security questions.

thief

The Game
The scam involves a game which asks you to post your “Twitter Porn Name.” Your Twitter porn name, according to the rules, includes combinations of your first pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name and the street you grew up on. Not surprisingly, this information likely contains the answers to the security questions needed to access one or more of your online accounts.

The Scam

With this information, scammers can, posing as you, contact various these various Web sites and indicate they have forgotten your login information. When presented with your security questions, the scammer uses your Twitter porn name information to gain access to your account. According to What the Trend, the scam can also be used to scare people into visiting another Web site for more information about the scam, thereby increasing ad revenue for the site.

The Solution
Social media is designed to be a fast-paced exchange of ideas. Scammers exploit this feature to their advantage. Do not get caught up in the moment. Always think before you respond. Be wary of any request you receive for personal information, even if the request comes from a trusted friend. Although most requests are likely genuine, it only takes a single scam to cost you thousands of dollars and years of headaches.

Brett Trout

Posted in Internet Law. Tagged with , , .