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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 8 -
Identity Theft

Social Engineering Techniques for Identity Theft

Most people have been approached at one time or another by someone taking a survey.  This person may offer a gift certificate redeemable at a local store in return for an opinion on a given topic.  Many of these surveys are legitimate and are a valuable means of gathering public opinion.  However, far too many are some form of fraud.  

For example, an individual’s personal information and demographics could be gathered to target them for new credit card offers.  While annoying, there is nothing criminal about this particular activity.  More troubling, these offers might invalidate one’s registration with state or federal “Do Not Call” registries.  The pollster could actually be a front for a business that has a telemarketing division.  By innocently granting permission to use personal information, the fine print on the approval form might give permission to sell the individual’s name and number to other companies.

Most troubling, this gathering of information could be an attempt to steal a person’s identity.  When a criminal, while executing such a scam, hands over the incentive gift for participating in the survey, they ask the person to fill out a form this is allegedly for tax purposes.  The form may be a simple name and address disclosure acknowledging receipt of a gift card.  It may have a space for Social Security Number. 

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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