Identity theft has become a dangerous threat for internet users. While you may take all possible measures to ensure your personal details are not available to anyone you don’t want accessing them, there are people who find means and ways to get this information. Using non-technical method to get information about you from your system and then giving it out to buyers at a price is known as social engineering. This form of identity theft has been on the rise for a while know. There are many people who have access to the internet but don’t know the basic rules to stay safe online. It is such people that hackers and identity thieves hope to target.
One of the most common ways of getting your personal information is, to simply ask you! Of course, they don’t ask it directly or up front but try to trick you into giving the information voluntarily. Sending emails that claim you have won amazing amounts of money in a lucky draw or some obscure lottery and then asking you for your bank account details to transfer the funds is one of the most common forms of this method. Some emails claim they are from people who were once in power in countries, mostly African. They claim to have millions of dollars lying in the account and ask your help to get the money out, offering you a percentage of the amount. Of course, they then ask you for your bank details in order to transfer the funds into your account.
Most recently, spammers sent emails to Gmail accounts claiming to be from Google itself. The email stated that Google was closing inactive Gmail accounts and if you wanted to keep your email active you should respond within 48 hours giving your username and password and your country of residence! While users aware of such tactics don’t respond to such mails, unaware users may become victims of identity theft.