Home Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Federal Trade Commission Explained

Federal Trade Commission Explained

What is the Federal Trade Commission?
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent government agency of the United States. Established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Federal Trade Commission maintains its principal mission of promoting consumer protection and preventing harmfully anti-competitive business practices.
The Federal Trade Commission Act was instituted by President Woodrow Wilson, in large part, to dissuade the presence of trusts, which acted as major political concerns during the Progressive Era. During modern times, the Federal Trade Commission Act is responsible towards delegating the enforcement of additional business regulation statutes. Since the agency’s inception, the Federal Trade Commission has enforced numerous provisions of various legislations to monitor situations revolving around antitrust statutes and consumer protection law.
The Federal Trade Commission is led by five commissioners who are first nominated by the President of the United States and subsequently elected or confirmed by the United States Senate. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, regulations were instituted to ban uniform party representation of the elected commissioners; no more than three Commissioners may be of the same political party. A commissioner’s term in the agency lasts seven years and the terms are staggered so that in a given year only one Commissioner’s term will expire.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection: The Bureau of Consumer Protection’s primary responsibility is to protect consumers against deceptive or fraudulent acts in commerce. With written consent of the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer protection, through their legal professionals, enforce federal laws related to consumer affairs in addition to the rules promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission.
The functions of the Bureau of Consumer Protection regulates commerce and promotes fair business practices by conducting investigations, enforcing various actions, and providing consumer and business education to the fundamental players of commerce.
The Bureau of Consumer Protection will supply the various methods and functions to the following areas or concerns: financial products and practices, advertising and marketing, privacy and identity protection, telemarketing fraud, etc. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, the confirmed Commissioner possesses the authority to bring actions in federal court through its own legal professionals. In matters of consumer protection, the Federal Trade Commission supports the United States Department of Justice.
The Bureau of Competition: The Bureau of Competition is the primary division of the Federal Trade Commission responsible for preventing and eliminating “anticompetitive” business practices. The Bureau of Competition achieves this through the enforcement of various antitrust laws, the investigation practices into non-merger business practices that may impede competition, and through conducting a review of proposed mergers.
Practice or non-merger situations that may be impeding competition include any merger, which involves agreements between direct competitors (horizontal restraints) and vertical restraints where agreements among businesses at various levels in the same industry are accomplished (agreements made between suppliers and commercial buyers).
Bureau of Economics: The Bureau of Economics was created to support the Bureau of Competition and Consumer Protection by providing knowledge and resources related to the economic impacts of the Federal Trade Commission’s operation and legislation.

Activities of the Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission accomplishes its mission statement by conducting investigations that are brought to light by reports from businesses and consumers, congressional inquiries, reports in the media, and pre-merger notification filings. The investigations conducted by the FTC may pertain to an entire industry or a single company.
The primary issues that the FTC targets include, false advertising, other forms of fraud and deceptive practices that seek to take advantage of the consumer. The court system of the United States has identified three primary factors that must be considered in consumer unfairness cases: the practice either injures the consumer, violates an established public policy, and the act or transaction is unscrupulous and unethical at its core.

Understanding Forgery and Its Legal Implications

Understanding Forgery and Its Legal Implications

 
What is Forgery?
Forgery is a criminal act which is deliberate and intentional in nature. An act of forgery includes the purposeful defrauding, misleading, deception, and misrepresentation of a product, service, or item. Forgery can take place in a variety of settings, including the forged – and illegal – reproduction of items ranging from clothing to official documentation

Forgery and its Legal Implications
Forgery charges can encompass the following specialties within a legal forum; depending on the nature of both the crime, as well as the victims involved.
Administrative Law & Government Programs: Laws, acts, ordinances, and legislation are investigated with regard to any and all interaction(s) in which the Federal Government of the United States engages with its citizens. Within the scope of Administrative Law and Forgery, charges may include the counterfeiting of money or currency, the unlawful duplication of documentation, or illegal officiating of government-mandated exchanges
Employment Law: This scope of law focuses on the legislation, ethics, and adherence to legal decorum that takes place within a place of employment.
Cyber Law: A scope of law that focuses on legislation, legality, and ethics with regard to computer networks, the internet, electronic commerce (E-Commerce), the online marketplace, and virtual – commercial – activity. With advancements in computer technologies, online forgery has become quite common. Forgeries committed online include the illegal and unlawful reproduction of endorsements in the form of electronic signatures, online identity theft, and the online sale of illegally-reproduced merchandise
Finance Law: A legal specialty that deals with legislation applicable to the activity, exchange, and the circulation of monies or currency. Forgery can occur in a variety of fashions, including forged financial statements, forged investment activity reports, and counterfeit
Commercial/Business Law: The scope of law that addresses any and all business activities, commercial endeavor, or professional operation of the provision of products or services. In the event of a Forgery charge, applicable legality with be investigated with regard to the illegal and unlawful reproduction of copyrighted or patented items
Privacy Law: A legal specialty that focuses on the legality surrounding the personal privacy, space, and domain entitled to every citizen of the United States; privacy can be considered as being breached in the event of a forged signature or the unlawful use of personal records, documentation, and data belonging to another individual

Arrest Process for Forgery
Individuals charged with forgery charge, or have already been arrested by law enforcement agents must cooperate with the arresting officers regardless of personal belief with regard to the charges. Those under arrest will be given the opportunity to consult with legal specialists subsequent to the arrest process.

Reporting a Forgery Offense
In the event that an individual has been made aware of an ongoing Forgery are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense. In the event that an individual wishes to do so in an anonymous fashion, they have the opportunity to contact the appropriate government department, such as the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.
 

Identity Theft Insurance Overview

Identity Theft Insurance Overview

What is Identity Theft Insurance?

Identity theft insurance is a relatively new policy that focuses on helping a victim recover the financial losses or compromised information resulting from an identity theft situation.

Identity theft insurance is offered by identity protection resources or companies, such as Lifelock to expedite and insure the recovery process. Typically, identity theft insurance is combined with other identity theft resources, such as credit monitoring. Identity theft insurance is designed to relieve and subsequently resolve residual charges or various debts that occurred as a result of the identity theft.

Similar to a basic insurance policy, an individual must satisfy a premium for the obtainment of identity theft insurance. Additionally, identity theft insurance will be attached with specialized coverage options that will provide specific insurance and forms of relief to protect against the various forms of identity theft and the information or assets tied into the theft. For example, some identity theft insurance policies will pay out a claim if the information or funds stolen were committed by a relative, while other agencies or policy providers will not.

The majority of credit card companies will offer an individual a form of identity theft insurance. These policies will vary based on the amount of coverage offered and the stipulations for what defines an act of identity theft. Regardless of the policy; however, it is strong recommended that all users of credit cards understand their insurance options and review the stipulations which mandate the regulations surrounding the policy. You can also contact an identity theft lawyer consult your case.

The basic identity theft insurance policy will provide direct loss protection for the theft of credit cards, debit cards and all other mechanisms for transaction. Additionally, some identity theft insurance policies will protect against losses or fraudulent maneuvers taken-out on safety-deposit boxes.

Identity theft insurance, when purchased, will provide protection for those who are damaged from the illegal action. That being said, the types of coverage and the specifics that go into each policy will vary based on company. As a result of this variance, it is essential to review the policy (the premium attached, the type of coverage offered, and the specific types of assets or information that is covered) before purchasing an identity theft insurance policy. 

Identity Theft Protection At A Glance

Identity Theft Protection At A Glance

What is Identity Theft?
As more consumer purchases are made online with the advancements of computer technology, identity theft has unfortunately become an everyday occurrence. It is estimated that nearly $50 billion dollars were fraudulently usurped through identity theft practices, with the average victim losing $6,000.
As defined by the Federal Trade Commission, Identity Theft occurs when a person uses another person’s personal and financial information, such as their name, address, bank account information or Social Security number. An estimated 9 million American’s are victims of identity theft annually.
Identity thieves access the aforementioned information by taking part in numerous fraudulent activities such as phishing, pretexting and skimming. Other more simplistic means to steal someone’s identity include obtaining personal information from the garbage or the outright theft of information.

Identity Protection:
Identity protection includes any action that actively protects your identity. As technology advances, there are more avenues an identity thief can take advantage of. That being said, as technology continues to evolve, there are also more ways to protect such unfortunate situations from occurring. Although the largest portion of identity theft occurs electronically, there is still an enormous amount of identity theft that occurs through other means.
The simplest and arguably most effective way to protect your identity is to destroy all documents that hold your personal information; credit card offers, bank statements, bank letters, and all documents that store your personal or financial information should be shredded before they are thrown out. The Internal Revenue Service suggests that all individuals should store their financial information from the past seven years in a secure area; anything past this point should be shredded.
Since the advent of the Internet, personal and financial information has become more accessible to identity thieves and other parties looking to expose the information. All computers connected to the Internet maintain a level of susceptibility of being hacked.
The installment of firewalls, antivirus and anti-spyware software are necessary to protect your computer from such vulnerabilities. Furthermore, when you purchase items online, be sure that you are doing so from a reputable site or one that is secured through the installment of anti-piracy software.
In addition to firewalls, a user can take advantage of identity theft protection companies, such as Lifelock. These companies offer a consumer or business with numerous resources to protect their information from falling into the hands of identity thieves. These companies will monitor your credit scores and financial information to ensure that no scams or thievery have taken place.
Additionally, identity theft protection companies will exhaustively monitor your personal information and review all transactions, credit card applications and address changes to ensure that fraudulent maneuvers are not affirmed. Subsequently, if fraudulent actions were indeed committed against your account, identity theft protection services, such as Lifelock, will quickly respond to the illegal actions and will dedicate an exorbitant amount of time and money to hire experts, investigators, lawyers and consultants to facilitate the recovery of funds or information. 

5 Topics to Know About Identity Theft Statistics

5 Topics to Know About Identity Theft Statistics

What should I know about Identity Theft?

·Identity theft is a form of cheating or fraud of another person’s identity where someone pretends to be someone else by usurping that person’s identity. When someone else’s form of identity is stolen, the fraudulent party then assumes access to the victim’s resources, benefits, and financial information. As a result, the victim of identity theft will suffer adverse consequences as they are responsible for holding accountability of the perpetrator’s actions.

When you realize your identity has been stolen contact an identity theft lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance.

·There are numerous forms of identity theft, but in all cases, the victimized party is exposed to the actions of the aggressor’s illegal obtainment of the individual’s financial and personal information.

Identity Theft Statistics

·In the United States, as many as 12 million Americans are victims of identity theft per year.

·40-50% of identity theft victims are made aware of identity theft within 3 months of the illegal action. 10-20% of the victims; however, take 4 years or longer to discover the illegal infiltration of their personal and financial information.

·Victims of identity theft spend from 3 to 5,840 hours repairing damages realized through identity theft. This wide range is due to the varying levels of severity present in the crime—a lost credit card, for example, will require less time repairing than a compromised social security number. The total average of time spent repairing the damages realized through identity theft is approximately 330 hours.

·26-32% of victims will spend a period of 4 to 6 months dealing with their particular case, while 11-23% of victims will take over 7 months to repair and resolve the consequences of their particular case.

·Nearly $250 billion a year is lost by businesses who are victims of identity theft. On average, a victim of identity theft will lose between $2,000 and $14,000; victims will subsequently spend an average of $851 to $1,400 in expenses related to their case.

Aftereffects of Identity Theft

·50% of identity theft victims experience trouble getting loans or credit cards as a result of identity theft.

·20% of victims will experience higher credit card rates, while 16% of identity theft victims have higher insurances rates because of the theft.

·72% of identity theft victims will have trouble resolving or terminating the negative information left on their credit reports or other information left on their personal records.

What Information is used by the Fraudulent Party?

·Nearly one third of identity theft cases revolve around checking account fraud.

·2/3 of victim’s personal information is used to open new checking or credit accounts.

·30% of victim’s personal information is used to purchase a cell phone service.

·12% of identity theft victims end up having warrants issued in their name for financial crimes committed by the identity thief.

Steps taken to Prevent Identity Theft

As technology continues to improve, numerous companies (such as LifeLock) continue to develop cutting-edge techniques and programs to offer identity protection means to the average consumer or business. Various security requirements, encryptions and anti-piracy software produced by such companies as LifeLock are used to secure personal and banking information and impede identity thieves from conducting fraudulent activity. 

Wire Fraud Defined

Wire Fraud Defined

What is Wire Fraud?
Wire Fraud refers to a type of crime that is committed through the use of technologically-based communication system, including: telephones, computational systems, online networks, the Internet, or electronic databases.
The term ‘Wire Fraud’ originated from the term ‘wiring’ which is innate in modern technological devices. Due to the advancements in computer technology and the increased presence of information and financial data to exist in an intangible format, the potential of Wire Fraud has increased greatly.
Those who commit wire fraud typically do so by “hacking” into an individual’s personal computer or a network of computers. Regardless of the medium, those who participate in wire fraud typically usurp personal and financial information to commit subsequent forms of fraud. The exchange of such information on a technological device is susceptible to such illegal actions; when personal or financial information is breached it can be rapidly used to purchase items, open up new accounts, or commit identity theft.
To prevent wire fraud from taking place, an individual must understand and review the implications that enshroud online transactions. When purchasing a product online for instance, a consumer must be sure that the portal used to purchase the goods is a secured site and does not allow third parties to access the personal or financial information offered. Additionally, an individual should also download or purchase various security programs, such as firewalls, to prevent a hacker or third party from acquiring personal information.

Wire Fraud vs. Fraud 
Fraud encompasses any criminal act in which the intention of purposefully defrauding, deceiving or the misrepresentation of a product or service has taken place. That being said, Wire Fraud allows for anonymity of those who participate in the illegal action, regardless of the mechanism used or the medium where the fraud takes place.

The Nature of Wire Fraud
The following crimes are commonly classified as Wire Fraud:
Solicitation: Solicitation is classified as the intended recruitment of either knowing or unknowing participation in a criminal act
Identity Theft: The criminal act involving the illegal and unlawful acquiring of personal information belonging to another individual with the intent to commit a criminal act
Cyber Crime: A criminal genre in which crime is committed through the usage of computers, the Internet, or virtual networks; this can include – but is not limited to hacking, phishing, SPAM, email fraud, and online stalking


Reporting a Wire Fraud Offense
In the event that an individual has been made aware of an ongoing Wire Fraud, or has been party to a Wire Fraud that has occurred in the past, they are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense. In the event that an individual wishes to do so in an anonymous fashion, they have to opportunity to contact the appropriate government department, such as the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.

All You Need to Know About Network Security

All You Need to Know About Network Security

What is Network Security?
Network security is a virtual preventative measure undertaken in order to protect the content of digital databases, computer systems, and electronic networks responsible for housing information and facilitating electronic activity.
The implementation of Network security measures including secured websites, required password authentication, heightened profile-based security measures, telephone or email-based confirmation methods with regard to online purchases, the investigation of purchases or activities that do not follow specific – and individual – trends of behavior, and contractual compensatory means and financial restitution sponsored by the commercial operation in question.
Upon undertaking such communicative measures, the prospect of identity theft may be minimized through increased safety measures, digital transaction analysis, and procedures featuring financial investigation.

Electronic Threats Prevented by Network Security


Computer Virus
A computer virus is a digital program that intrudes into a specific entity and subsequently reproduces itself and causes damage and harm to the contents of that computer; as a result, computer viruses can be created with the intent to cause harm and/or damage with regard to electronic networks and digital databases. Network Security measures may be undertaken in order to prevent programs of this nature from entering respective computer terminals and online networks.

Hacking
Within a virtual setting, hacking is the illegal, unlawful entry into the computer terminal or digital record database in the possession of another individual; typically, this potential breach of network security takes place with malicious intent, resulting in the theft of information or damage to software. The fraudulent act of illegally assuming the identity of another human being without their consent with the intent of committing fraud, theft, or unlawful purchase may occur subsequent the information – both personal or financial – obtained through unlawful means.


Spyware
Spyware is illegal and illicit software implanted within the personal computer terminals or networking systems belonging to individuals typically unaware of its presence. Once inside of a computer system absent of sufficient network security, the perpetrator of this crime may be allowed unlawful access of unauthorized, private, restricted, privileged, and personal data.

Preventative Measures of Network Security
Companies providing methods of Identity theft prevention have employed protective measures ranging from securing online perimeters to communicative transmission inquiring about the validity of unsubstantiated activity; these types of companies have found their respective niche within the prevention of identity fraud upon providing protection in lieu of infringing on personal privacy.

Firewalls
A firewall is an electronic security measure that can be found in a large majority of computer terminals and electronic networks with the regard to the proliferation of the prevention of crimes taking place on a virtual level. Due to the constant exchange of digital information with regard to virtual connections implemented by the Internet – in addition to a host of other electronic communicative means, the potential of illicit infiltration of harmful and damaging software is heightened.
The institution of a network security tool such as a firewall allows for the analysis of digital information being transmitted into the perimeter of individual – or network – computer terminals. Upon analysis, the firewall will alert the user with regard to any potential threats existing.

Virus Protection

Virus Protection is a type of software that is designed in order to protect a computer terminal – or computational networking system – from the destruction that can be caused by a computer virus; Virus Protection can take place in a variety of methods. 
Virus Protection can deter the entry of viruses into computer systems by creating a filter that disallows the entry of foreign or unrecognized programs; in the event that a program that is otherwise unfamiliar to the Virus Protection program wishes to gain access to a computer’s framework, the Virus Protection program will prompt the user with the option to allow a specific program entry – upon this prompt, a Virus Protection program will typically explain the innate risks of a virus upon access to a computer or network. 
Virus Protection programs can also perform routine searches spanning the entirety of the contents located within an individual computer terminal, which are targeted to identify and expel any software perceived to be harmful to the inner-workings of that computer terminal.

Importance of Cyber Security

Importance of Cyber Security

What is Cyber Law?
Cyber Law is a legal field that consists of a variety of legal specialties that may be instituted in the event of the regulation and authorization of events taking place within a virtual setting. Due to the fact that Cyber Law is considered to be one of the most recently-developed legislative specialties, legal parameters and protocols within technological legality involves a vast array of online activity. Cyber Law is a legal field consisting of a multitude of corollary avenues and jurisdictions, including the legal, ethical, and lawful use of computer systems and online networks.

Jurisdictions of Cyber Law
Cyber Law may typically maintain its jurisdiction with regard to any or all activity that takes place within the setting of a virtual, electronic realm; electronic criminal activity facilitated through the usage of electronic network, technologically-based communication systems, as well as the regulation of electronic correspondence:


Identity Theft
Identity Theft is the criminal act of illegally and deceptively assuming the identity of another individual without the expressed consent with the intent of committing a crime; fraudulent and illicit attainment of personal information through the usage of unsecured websites can be prosecuted through Cyber Law. Through the use of stolen documentation attained upon illicit means of electronic acquisition – individuals can fraudulently assume the identity of others in order to engage in fraudulent purchases and illicit economic gain.


Illegal Information Capturing Technology

Within the scope of Cyber Law, a computer virus is a program created to infiltrate a computer terminal belonging to another individual with the intent to cause damage, harm, and destruction of virtual property. In certain cases, Spyware – defined as computer programs facilitating the unlawful collection of data – may allow individuals to access to the personal and private information belonging to victims of these crimes.
Phishing is a criminal act of fraud involves the illegal and unlawful attempt of to attain restricted, unauthorized, and privileged information through means of fraudulent, deceptive communicative requests. Due to the expansiveness of technological discovery in tandem with the ability for information and data to exist in an intangible format, the potential for identity theft has increased greatly within the legal setting of cyber law.

How to Prevent Electronic Identity Theft
Due to technological innovation, electronic identity theft is considered by many to be one of the most recently-developed crimes, credited – in part – to the ongoing advent of computer-based technology. This type of technology relies heavily on the Internet and online activity, and as a result, regulations and oversight of this type of activity has been expressed in the spectrum of preventative measures involving the cessation of electronic identity theft.
Companies providing methods of Identity theft prevention – including Lifelock, which is one of the most widely-acclaimed and recognized – have employed protective measures ranging from securing online perimeters to communicative transmission inquiring about the validity of unsubstantiated activity; these types of companies have found their respective niche within the prevention of identity fraud upon providing protection in lieu of infringing on personal privacy. 

Encryption Explained

Encryption Explained




What is Encryption?

Encryption is a means of electronic security that involves
methodologies facilitated in order to provide the protection of digital and
virtual information systems, which are considered to be classified, private,
personal, or restricted to viewing on the part of authorized individuals. Electronic
trespassing measures undertaken in order to achieve the unlawful entry into –
or access of – personal computer terminals belonging to
victims of cyber-crime, may include the illicit and unlawful access of
informational databases and digital record systems.

Encryption
Terminology

The necessity to protect vital – and oftentimes privileged –
information has been observable throughout the annals of history; historians
have discovered coding and masking techniques with regard to clandestine
communication employed for hundreds of years. Modern Encryption techniques have
adapted to the growing need of privacy, safety, and protection resulting from a
respective ability to access information as per the technological advances of
the Digital age.

A cipher is mathematical equation that
correlates to the decoding process of a message or text that has been encrypted

A code provides a replacement for a text or
message, while a cipher is an encryption methodology that must be deciphered in
order to reveal the message or text in question

Administrative
Encryption

Cryptology is the scientific field specializing in the
development, advancement, and synthesis of the Encryption process The
Department of Digital Rights Management (DRM) is considered to be at the
forefront of the creation, regulation, authentication, and development of a
majority of the Encryption facilitated by the Federal Government.

Why is Encryption
Necessary?

Due to the fact that the criminal activity known as
‘Hacking’ is conducted with the intent to commit a crime, Encryption provides
for the protection and safety of digital information. Due to technological
innovation, electronic identity theft is considered
by many to be one of the most recently-developed crimes, credited – in part –
to the ongoing advent of computer-based technology. This type of technology
relies heavily on the Internet and online activity, and as a result,
regulations and oversight of this type of activity has been expressed in the
spectrum of
preventative measures involving the cessation of electronic
identity theft.

Computer Fraud and Identity Theft

 

Computer fraud is a
type of theft involving the criminal act of electronically obtaining the
personal – or private – information belonging to another individual or entity
through the use of technological – albeit illegal, unlawful, unethical, or
fraudulent – means. Within the realm of computer fraud, the criminal act of electronic
identity theft is defined as the
act of illegally assuming the
identity of another human being without their consent with the intent of
committing fraud, theft, exploitative acts, and harm
.


The
receipt of economic gain at the expense of victims of identity fraud takes
place through the deliberate misrepresentation of personal information or private
data; in many cases, this type of electronic data is attained through the
electronic infiltration with regard to computer systems containing electronic
data.


How to Prevent
Electronic Identity Theft

Companies providing methods of Identity theft prevention –
including Lifelock, which is one of the most widely-acclaimed and recognized –
have employed protective measures ranging from securing online perimeters to
communicative transmission inquiring about the validity of unsubstantiated
activity; these types of companies have found their respective niche within the
prevention of identity fraud upon providing protection in lieu of infringing on
personal privacy.