These sites operate beneath the surface, hidden where the average Web surfer would never look. And for a quick transaction online, a criminal can buy your good name and certain identification numbers that goes along with it. This could result in debt that will affect your credit and take you hours, weeks or even years to clean up.
LifeLock is helping people fight back against these high-tech, identity theft threats with a new service available to all members at no extra cost--eRecon. Through this service, LifeLock is able to scour the Internet on a daily basis on behalf of its members searching for Social Security, credit card, bank account, and drivers' license numbers, passwords/PINS and more that match their name or personal data.
If matching information is found a LifeLock representative will immediately alert members who are at risk so they may change PIN numbers, transfer bank accounts and cancel credit cards that are open to fraud. Additionally, a member can request LifeLock to cancel credit cards and take additional steps on their behalf.
"LifeLock has been using readily available tools to provide complete identity theft protection," said LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. "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 now - at no additional cost."
As identity theft cases continue to rise (the Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2007, Americans registered more than 800,000 complaints of fraud and identity theft, up from 670,000 in 2006), more and more thieves are turning to the Web as a fast way to make a buck and take over identities. Thousands of black market sites populate the Web, and while it is illegal for someone to use the identities being sold, it is not illegal for these sites to operate.
These Web sites walk a fine line of the law and many of them pop up and discontinue without notice, making it a challenge for consumers to maintain a watchful eye on their own. But, by employing highly sophisticated and proprietary Web patrolling technology, eRecon is able to uncover new criminal sites as they come online, helping to warn and protect members quickly and efficiently.
Be sure to see video from a Dateline investigation that shows how easily criminals buy, sell and trade your personal identifying information in online chat rooms.