LifeLock’s eReconTM Service Monitors Criminal Information Sharing Networks Globally to Protect Your Personal Data
The Internet provides the perfect medium for buying and selling identity theft-related information – a virtual “black market.” There are multiple illegal sites – some are similar to eBay – where identity thieves can buy, sell, rate each other and even leave feedback about transactions. The information traded may be as simple as account numbers and pin codes or as complex as whole identities, including social security numbers, bank account numbers with passwords and PIN codes, date of birth, security question answers.
Most people think of ruined credit when they hear the words “identity theft.” Identity theft can cause more than just credit problems. Victims of criminal identity theft can lose their job, home or even be locked up for crimes that were committed using their name and identification. Victims of medical identity theft can find themselves facing huge medical bills or even worse, receive incorrect care based on fraudulent medical records, possibly endangering their life or health.
The threat posed by electronic trafficking of stolen personal information is significant. According to some estimates, identity thieves are now paying only $14.00 – $18.00 for stolen identities, where they were paying $100-$150.00 on the black market for a “complete” identity only a few years ago. Lower prices for black market stolen identities indicate that these illegal markets have become much more efficient. Prices have dropped because there are more efficient identify thieves collecting and offering consumers’ personal information for resale in larger and larger numbers. The demand for stolen information has not fallen, but the supply has increased dramatically.
According to a report in Network World magazine, if the black market for stolen personal information were to be sold on world stock markets it would be valued at more than $5 billion. Analysts estimate that the market for stolen information is growing at more than 60% per year.
LifeLock is helping people fight back against these high-tech, identity theft threats with eRecon. Using industry-leading technology, LifeLock’s eRecon™ service searches thousands of known criminal Web sites to find illegal selling or trading of personal information. LifeLock scours the Internet searching for Social Security, credit card, bank account, and drivers’ license numbers, passwords/PINS and any other data that matches members’ name or personal information. If matching information is found, LifeLock representatives immediately alert members who are at risk.
“This new service provides us a broad, comprehensive look into areas where personal information is often compromised. This protective layer is something that most consumers cannot do for themselves and we are proud to offer it ‘ said LifeLock CEO Todd Davis.
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