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  • Liz Lindsay

Three types of account fraud you may experience in the coming months.

Cybercriminals were out in full force this past year using fear of the coronavirus and reduced security to prey on consumers and people working from home. As a result, identity theft losses climbed to $56 billion in 2020, up from $16 billion the prior year. This increase has largely been driven by account fraud. Below are the three types of account fraud you should be aware of:

Account Takeover (ATO):

ATO fraud occurs when a cyber thief takes control of a legitimate account that belongs to someone else. Two common ways in which your credentials are obtained

  • Stolen credentials via malicious keylogging spyware that installs onto your device as a result of clicking on an infected link. This spyware steals everything you type including credentials.

  • Credentials purchased from the dark web that were stolen in a data breach. In 2020, there was 141% increase in stolen records containing personal identifiable information including credentials. The volume of stolen credentials obtained in a data breach and the rate at which they are stolen make it nearly impossible to avoid.

Account Opening (AO) Fraud: AO fraud, sometimes called fraudulent applications (FRAP) fraud, happens when cybercriminals open up entirely new accounts in other people's names using PII obtained from the Dark Web. Among the most common accounts opened in this type of fraud include but are not limited to:

  • Unemployment benefits: filing for and receiving unemployment benefits using someone else's PII

  • Credit cards: Opening credit card accounts using someone else's PII, then using those credit cards.

  • Income tax refund: Filing taxes using someone else's PII and receiving a tax refund.

Payment Fraud: Payment fraud happens when an illegal transaction is made. A few well-known types of payment fraud include:

  • Stolen Funds also known as EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), the transfer of funds from a legitimate (victim) bank account to a fraudulent account.

  • Theft of credit card account information and the subsequent use of that information for purchases.

Advanced Cyber Security’s solutions can help protect consumers and businesses from account fraud. Our Dark Web Monitoring and Scanning keeps consumers informed if their personal information is found on the Dark Web and Domain Monitoring for small business can detect if any company employees have been compromised. Our Keystroke Encryption software can protect all of the sensitive information typed on the device in the event that a malicious keylogger code is unknowingly downloaded. For a complete identity theft protection plan, CyberIDLock includes Keystroke Encryption, Dark Web Scan, Identity and Credit Monitoring, Score Tracker, Fully Managed Recovery and a $1,000,000 Identity Theft Protection Policy to stolen funds, lost wages and identity restoration fees to protect consumers and small businesses.


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