Are You Really You? 7 Identity Theft Scams to Watch in Michigan
"Hey (insert name here), I think your account might have been hacked". How many times have you either sent that message or received that message on social media platforms?
This type of identity theft has been around for years, but this crime continues to evolve. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) predicted these types of crimes would continue to evolve in Michigan and around the United States. Here are the 7 Identity Theft Scams to Watch in Michigan, according to the ITRC:
1. Craft Criminals Will Impersonate Victims Based on PII
PII, personally identifiable information, is gathered in phishing attacks and compromises in companies' internal networks. Thieves will evolve their ability to use this information to open new accounts, take over existing social media accounts, and impersonate government officials. Remember to always verify someone's identity when making a financial transaction over the phone or the internet.
2. Romance Scams Will Evolve
Romance scams in their current form involve a social media conversation with a mysterious stranger who contacts you via the platform. They live far away, in some cases they serve in the military or work on an oil platform in the middle of the ocean and they will milk the unsuspecting for all their worth by establishing a romantic attachment. ITRC predicts this scam will evolve from simple romance to full-blown relationship scams allowing them to extract even more funds from victims.
3. Criminals Will Target Ethnic Groups and Immigrants
The targeting of newly immigrated Americans will see an increase as the year rolls on according to the ITRC. This demographic makes for an easy con as many new citizens have a tenuous grasp on the language and the culture in the United States. Paying a tax bill in Apple gift cards may seem very American to someone who is new in Michigan.
4. Password Hacking Will Evolve
As more and more websites are requiring more complicated passwords, those that stick with just 1 easy to remember key code will be more and more susceptible to password hacking. The ITRC recommends using a password generator to create a difficult-to-crack series of letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure your data is protected.
5. Identity Theft Will Impact Generations in Different Ways
A generational difference will become more apparent due to the different means of payment each age group is more comfortable with. Boomers will be more likely to fall for thieves pretending to be a family member in distress on the phone or via text. Younger Gen Xers, Millenials, and Gen Z will be more open to credit card and social media fraud.
6. Scammers Will Grow Profits Thanks to Payment Apps
Payment apps, like Venmo and Paypal, leave users susceptible to identity theft in a myriad of ways. The social nature of some of the sights allows you to see people's spending habits, where they spend, and to whom they give money. This kind of information, in the right hands, could cost a victim thousands.
7. Data Breaches Will Grow
Many companies have been hit with data breaches that have cost money, time, and labor. As these breaches continue to affect Wall Street, pressure will mount on Congress to pass a comprehensive privacy and data security law. ITRC predicts this won't happen in this calendar year.