If you have any doubt that you could be the next victim of identity theft — think again — because new ways to beguile you into divulging your personally identifiable information (PII) spring up every day. The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), at www.ic3.gov/, routinely reports on emerging scams. Since November 2010, the IC3 has reported identity theft and fraud related to payday loan telephone collection scams, e-mails promising sweepstakes or lottery prizes, and phishing and smishing schemes.
In phishing schemes, an identity thief poses as a legitimate entity and uses e-mails and scam websites to obtain victims' personal information, such as account numbers, user names, passwords, and more. Smishing is the act of sending fraudulent text messages to bait a victim into revealing personal information, like your Social Security number.
During the 2010 holiday shopping season, the FBI reminded consumers that cyber criminals create new, increasingly agressive ways to steal money and personal information. Identity thieves use many techniques to dupe potential victims, including conducting fraudulent auction sales, reshipping merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards, and selling fraudulent or stolen gift cards through auction sites at discounted prices. Identity thieves are not nice people and have been known to threaten victims with legal actions, arrests, and in some cases, physical violence, the FBI reported.
But the Department of the Navy is also aggressively working to educate its workforce about identity theft and properly control the use of your PII in the workplace. The DON is working to eliminate or reduce the collection, use, display and storage of the SSN through the DON Social Security Number Reduction Plan. By reading this issue of CHIPS, we hope to make you very skeptical and cautious about revealing your personal information — and very careful when handling the PII of others.
Another focus includes interviews with the brand new DON CIO, Terry Halvorsen, and an old friend and former DON CIO, Dave Wennergren, who is now the DoD assistant deputy chief management officer.
In November, CHIPS contributor Holly Quick and I exhibited CHIPS in the SPAWAR exhibit at MILCOM in San Jose, Calif. I also attended the fourth annual C5ISR Government and Industry Partnership Conference, cosponsored by the Charleston Defense Contractors Association and SPAWARSYSCEN Atlantic, in Charleston, S.C. The conference featured an eclectic mix of industry innovators and naval leadership speakers, and panel discussions led by subject matter experts.
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