Electronic Pickpocketing: How Safe is Your Identity?

As technology advances so do the ways cybercriminals can take over your life

One of the positives of the Internet is that you can find almost anything at the click of a button. Unfortunately, so can computer hackers. Given the advancements in technology and people’s willingness to openly share personal information online, the digital landscape has become fraught with reports of identity theft scams. “Stealing a person’s identity online is so common these days,” says Gregory D. Evans Founder/CEO of LIGATT Security, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in cybercrime prevention. “Because people put out more personal information about themselves on these dating sites than they would on some other sites.”

It’s gotten to a point now, though, that you don’t even have to be online to be susceptible. Memphis, TN’s News Channel 3 recently ran a report on electronic pickpocketing that revealed how cybercriminals can steal your credit card or passport information—including your photo—without even touching your wallet. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which allows us to simply swipe our cards to make payments, they can download all your pertinent information in a matter of seconds. Companies like Identity Stronghold offer a variety of products to block the scanning technology, but that’s only one small deterrent to a much bigger problem that leaves an estimated 140 million customers at-risk. “Really, the Internet is so out of control that anybody can do anything they want on the Internet and get away with it,” says Evans. “This is one reason why cybercrime and identity theft just exploded overnight.”

Experts warn that consumers should be diligent about keeping tabs on their bank and credit card statements, as well as being sure to not reveal too much while using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter because you never know who’s watching. Evans advises that people should also make a habit of looking themselves up online regularly to see if there are any fallacies about them online. That’s what helped University of Florida student Zachary Garcia, 18, discover that he was wrongfully accused of murder. Turns out another Zachery Garcia, spelled with an “e” instead of an “a” and coincidentally shared the same birth date, was an accomplice to a murder earlier in the year and police mistakenly released Zachary’s driver’s license photo to the media instead of Zachery’s. Police quickly corrected the error and alerted all media outlets of the mix up but given the viral nature of the Web the erroneous information may never be erased completely.

“How do you protect yourself from that? You always have to Google [yourself] because there will be people out there who will steal your identity or you’ll have somebody with the exact same name as you living in the exact same city and you just don’t know,” says Evans, who also suggests purposely misspelling your name to widen your search results. “Seeing cases like this one with the murder [charge] is kind of scary but it’s common.”

Check out these other articles on protecting your identity…

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Grace MacArthur

    When you hear about crimes over the internet and identity theft, I always imagine some scammer stealing my credit card info and taking a toll on me and my money. But to think I could be the victim of mistaken identity in a MURDER case…noow that’s just flat out scary! Good to know companies like LIGATT and I.S. are out there to protect my info. It’s really is the wild wild west out there.

  • http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/gregory_evans/ Gregory Evans

    For more info about Ligatt Security, see http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/gregory_evans/ or type “ligatt charlatan” into the Googles.

    • Grace MacArthur

      ^^I don’t know who those people are. ^^ But i did my OWN research, and found out about Ligatt. http://gregorydevans.com

  • Earl Dempsey

    Let me tell you about Greg Evans…….According to Nielsen Audience, 3,043,600 people listened to Gregory Evans speak in 2010 on national television and radio stations……The State Bar in California, Nevada, and Georgia has authorized Gregory Evans to teach Continuing Legal Education to attorneys…..Gregory Evans invented the world’s FIRST device to track a computer anywhere in the world…..Gregory Evans has written 8 books on computer security and identity theft….. Greg Evans wrote the ONLY book in the world dedicated solely to laptop security….. LocatePC is the most downloaded computer tracking software in the world…. Gregory Evans is the founder of 3 publicly traded companies. Mr. Evans sold The Cyber Group Network and the other 2 are currently trading under the stock symbol LGTT and SPFM….Gregory Evans owns the 2nd largest caller ID spoofing service IN THE ENTIRE WORLD….Gregory Evans has taught over 5 different Cyber Security courses on college campuses like Santa Monica City College, Irvine Valley College, California State University – Los Angeles, San Marcos College, Pepperdine University, Anaheim City College, Rancho Santiago College, and ITT in Duluth, GA…..Cyber Group Network and LIGATT Security are the only computer security companies IN HISTORY to be the Official Cyber Security company for the NBA and the NHL; and teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, and the Thrashers…..Evans wrote the first book on Laptop Security…. LIGATT Security developed one Android and two iPhone Applications – Cyber P.I. for the iPhone. iSPOOFEM for iPhone and Android phones. …Gregory Evans is the ONLY computer security expert to be featured on Fox News Network (3 times) and he’s a regular on CNN….. Evans is the ONLY Computer Security Expert to write articles for Essence Magazine….Evans is the ONLY expert to be interviewed by 3 hip-hop magazines: Rolling Out, Crème and Ozone Magazine….Evans has the largest line of clothing for Computer Nerds, Geeks, IT Managers and Hackers. (HackerGearOnine.com)……Evans has one of the largest computer security news portal websites in the world. (NationalCyberSecurity.com)……………………………………………….. No matter what anyone says, this man is a hero to me. He’s the reason I want to go into the IT field when I go to college, and he’s the reason I want to open my own business. Good job Black Enterprise for providing articles about cyber security, and technology in the 21st century. :-)

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  • Tim Toadie

    oh, and LocatePC , that great security product Evans sells has security vulnerabilities in it again. Nothing in your post shows that Evans is not a scam.