identity theft is a form of internet crimes that is growing in numbers

Online stores under fake name

Recently, a German radio program (“NDR info”) carried out investigations whose findings indicate how, in recent times, thousands of Internet data have been unlawfully used to open online stores and sell counterfeit products as, for instance, sunglasses, shoes or bags of famous brands.

Victims of such identity theft can be anywhere and the crime can be committed in many ways.

identity theft is a form of internet crimes that is growing in numbers

In the case described by “NDR info”, the victims were people who bought products in apparently normal online shops, giving all their data (such as name, address and credit card’s information) and receiving the purchased products at home without problem.

However, a few months later, criminals used the collected data to register online stores in order to sell counterfeit products. By doing so, the real name of the sellers never appears.

The worrying part of the problem is that this kind of practices are growing, spreading and are executed by professionals, adopting more and more sophisticated techniques, not only at computer level.

This kind of illicit acts are dangerous because they are able to cause serious problems to victims who, first of all, will have to respond for fraudulent online sales under its name.

The defence against online identity theft is not easy, among others, because of a still inadequate international legal framework.

Therefore, the best option is prevention and reporting to the competent authority any attempt of identity theft, for example, when during an internet search we find a web site under our name.

NDR info: http://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/netzwelt/Identitaetsdiebstahl,identitaetsdiebstahl100.html

Alessandro DI MARCO

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