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Frequently Asked Questions



IDENTITY THEFT
1.
When does Identity theft occur?
2. How is Identity Theft carried out?
3. How can I stop Identity Theft?
4. How do I know whether I am a victim of Identity Theft or not?
5. What can I do if the police will not take the report?
6. Should I cancel all my credit cards even they haven't been used by the imposters?
7. The information on my credit report is wrong. What can I do?
8. How can an impostor take my identity?
9. Where can the impostor get the information about me?
10. What does personal information mean?
11. Should I cancel my Social Security number if I am a victim of Identity Theft?

CHARGEBACKS
12. What is a chargeback?
13. When does a chargeback occur?
14. How can I avoid receiving a chargeback?

MALWARE
15.

VIRUSES
16. How can I catch a virus?
17. What is not a virus?
18. What is the difference between spyware, adware and virus?
19. How to avoid catching a virus?

SPYWARE, ADWARE
20. What does adware mean?
21. What is spyware?
22. What information does spyware gather?
23. How is the information gathered by a spyware used?
24. How do I know if there is spyware on my computer?
25. How can I remove spyware from my computer?
26. When do spyware and adware infestations occur?

HOAXES
27. How to recognize a hoax?



IDENTITY THEFT

1. When does Identity theft occur?
Identity theft occurs when your personal information (name, Social Security Number, credit card number, or some other piece of sensitive information) is appropriated by someone without your knowledge or consent to commit fraud.
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2. How is Identity Theft carried out?
Stealing, dumpster diving, shoulder surfing, the Internet are the most common methods identity theft is carried out.
Stealing wallets, purses is the best way identity thieves obtain information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or any other piece of sensitive information that can be used in their benefit. Also stealing mail containing personal information are used to obtain new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, investment reports, tax information, insurance.
Dumpster diving. Unshreded credit cards and documents containing personal information are inviting signs for tramps
Shoulder surfing. The best method to capture Social Security numbers is shoulder surfing at ATM's or phone boots.
Internet. Identity Theft via the Internet is one of the leading source of fraud due to the lack of barriers in cyberspace.
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3. How can I stop Identity Theft?
The first step you can take in order to stop Identity theft in case you are a victim is to contact the three major credit reporting bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit profile.
Second: get copies of the reports in order to know which are the fraud accounts
Third:call the local police ( in the country/city ) where the fraud took place.
These steps are only the starting point in detecting and stopping the fraud.
Be aware that it usually takes a lot of time and money to halt Identity theft and you may not be able to stop the fraud immediately.
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4. How do I know whether I am a victim of Identity Theft or not?
There are more possibilities to find out that you are a victim. Here are some examples in this respect: a creditor contacts you, you are denied credit, unknown charges occur on your credit card. Once thieves fake your identity, they open new credit card accounts on your behalf and write checks on your account, they don't pay the bills and the delinquent accounts are reported on your credit card report, they call your credit card issuer, pretending to be you,and change your mailling address on your credit card account. Sometimes it is difficult to immediately realize you are subjected to such practices because your bills are sent to another address.
Many times certain services are opened in your name, for instance, cellular phone service, loans, or rentals.
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5. What can I do if the police will not take the report?
It is true that many police departments are reluctant to take a report on Identity theft as they say the credit grantor who lost the money is the victim and not yourself. They are expecting the creditor to place a report. Usually the latter will not cooperate as it takes too much time and energy to assist the police.
Don't give up. You must insist that the police take a report. Speak directly to the people in charge with this problem: the head of the fraud unit of the police department where the fraud took place. If there is still no result contact the Chief of Police or the Mayor of the City Council. If things stay the same, contact The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse or The California Public Interest Research Group (PIRG,) or consider to take an attorney to assist you.
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6. Should I cancel all my credit cards even they haven't been used by the imposters?
No.
If you cancel your credit cards it will probably take you a lot of time to get new ones in the near future. Once your credit has been stoppped you may have problems getting new loans, a rental house or car, and even a new job.
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7. The information on my credit report is wrong. What can I do?
The CRA helps you dispute inaccurate information on your credit report. Once you have submitted relevant evidence on your dispute, it usually takes 30 days to investigate the information. CRA presents the information to the source (e.g. bank) which must analyze it and send the report back to CRA. Then the Cra gives you a report on the invastigation and also a copy of your report if the investigation results in any change. In case there is no result to CRA's investigation, you may add 100 word statement to your file.
The CRA must normally include a summary of your statement in future reports. If an item is deleted or a dispute statement is filed, you may ask that anyone who has recently received your report be notified of the change.

You can dispute inaccurate items with the source of the information. If you tell anyone such as a creditor who reports to a CRA -- that you dispute an item, they may not then report the information to a CRA without including a notice of your dispute. In addition, once you've notified the source of the error in writing, it may not continue to report the information if it is, in fact, an error.
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8. How can an impostor take my identity?
Very simple. Your personal information, such as SSN, birth date, driver license, or other identifying information: address, phone number are used by impostors to pose as yourself. Thus various crimes are done on your name without you even knowing or imagining it. And maybe, by the time you find out it is too late: your name, reputation and credibility have already been compromised.
Sometimes the impostors provide other address on the ground they changed address (they have moved).Unfortunately impostors are "helped" to steal your identity by negligent credit grantors, who in their attempt to issue credit in a very short period of time, they are skipping to verify information.
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9. Where can the impostor get the information about me?
There is no need for you to loose your wallet/purse containing personal information or to have them stolen, for someone to have access to your sensitive data.
Unfortunately there are a lot of places or persons that have/ possess your personal information: place of work, school, ATMs, trash bins/dumpsters, doctor, lawyer. Yet, much of your information may be easily picked up Via the Internet.
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10. What does personal information mean?
Personal information is any piece of information by which you (your organization) may personally be identified: name, address, phone number, bank and credit card information, SSn, age, gender, email address, driver license.
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11. Should I cancel my Social Security number if I am a victim of Identity Theft?
In most of the cases it is not a very good idea to chancel your SSn.
Why?
You have had that number for years and it is attached to many of your private and governmental documents. If you change it, not only it will cause a lot of troubles to the Social Security Administration, but it will also look suspicious to employees or creditors. You could be taken as the impostor and not as the victim because both your old SSN and credit reports are attached to the reports with the new number.
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CHARGEBACKS

12. What is a chargeback?
Chargeback means the reversal of a sales transaction, that is the credit card charges are reversed. It takes place between two parties: the issuer of the card and the merchant's bank (the acquirer). In the chargeback process there is no direct relationship between the cardholder (for the issuer) and the merchant (for the acquirer).
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13. When does a chargeback occur?
Chargebacks may be caused by: double-charging, credit card expiration, processing errors, unauthorized purchases, lack of signature on a draft, failure to fulfill a request for a sales draft, bank errors, other transaction irregularities, or customers' dissatisfaction (often due to non received merchandise or disappointment in quality)...
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14. How can I avoid receiving a chargeback?
Here are some suggestions to be considered in order to avoid chargebacks caused by online transactions
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MALWARE

15.

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VIRUSES

16. How can I catch a virus?
You can unintentionally get a virus while downloading software from sites you don't know. Software containing the extensions: .bat, .reg,.dll, .pif, .scr, .exe contain viruses. Other sources where you may contact a virus may be: floppy disks, attachment to emails, files sharing and network neighbouring, Instant Messaging and Chat rooms.
Remember that you are always at risk of catching a virus when you accept a program from someone over a network,or when you save an infected file to a floppy disk, and use the disk in your computer.
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17. What is not a virus?
Click here to find out
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18. What is the difference between spyware, adware and virus?
Viruses are programs installed onto computers without people knowing it while spyware and adware are programs chosen by people, most of the time undeliberately. It is true that people don't give their consent to have spyware or adware installed, but the apparition of this malicious software onto their Pc's is a result of their misinformation. If you agree to have a program installed without reading the license, this means you agree to have spyware on your computer.
Adware doesn't behave like a virus (orworm): they don't spread themselves using your address book, they don't actually damage your computer they just slow down its performance.
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19. How to avoid catching a virus?
Click to learn more
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SPYWARE, ADWARE

20. What does adware mean?
ADWARE (Advertising Supported Software) is software that displays advertisement you don't want or didn't request for on a computer while the program is running. They include a code that delivers the advertisement. This code may be viewed either through pop up windows or through a bar that appears on the computer screen. Adware's flaw is that it includes a code that tracks the user's personal information and passes it on to third parties.
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21. What is spyware?
Spyware is a software that tracks Internet surfing habits and collects personal information without people's knowledge or permission and sends it to a third party (another person, company, server).
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22. What information does spyware gather?
Spyware tracks your Internet surfing behavior and sends back the information to the spyware vendor and also you personal sensitive information.
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23. How is the information gathered by a spyware used?
The risk this type of threat involves is that sensitive information can be easily used by unscrupulous people/organizations. In other words, spyware sends your personal information to third parties that want to "do business" with you. As a result, the websites you visit monitor your activity and the information you send online is send to third parties without your knowledge or consent.
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24. How do I know if there is spyware on my computer?
There are certain sings/ indices announcing you that your PC is infested with spyware. Here are the most common: endless pop-up advertisements are displayed on your computer, your browsers pages changes without your knowledge, a new toolbar appears in your browser and it is difficult to get rid of it, your computer slows down and eventually crashes.
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25. How can I remove spyware from my computer?
You have two possibilities: 1) remove the programs manually. To do this you have first to determine the type of spyware you are dealing with, because each piece of spyware requires different removal procedures.
2) use an anti spyware software to automatically remove all spyware from your computer: download and install efficient removal tools, run the tool to scan the computer for spyware, review the files detected for spyware, select the files you want to remove by following the tool's instructions.
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26. When do spyware and adware infestations occur?
These infestations occur when you surf on malicious websites, when you download programs that contain them (for instance peer-to-peer file sharing program), or when you click unwittingly on a deceiptive link that installs them.
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HOAXES

27. How to recognize a hoax?
Click here to learn more
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