Welcome!

Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

News Feed Item

ALLOW Exposes How Fraudsters Shop for Victims Online

ALLOW, the London-based information privacy company, has discovered the latest techniques that fraudsters use to scope out their targets using the internet and social media. ALLOW’s report is based on an in-depth interview with an offender carried out by Professor Martin Gill, an expert in criminology. It is the most up-to-date research available on ID fraud, revealing:

  • The sites that criminals use – 192.com, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • The personal information that they look for – names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and work histories
  • The common tricks of the trade – creating fake profiles, paying for information from 192.com, getting clues from photographs and hacking emails
  • The common mistakes that people make – accepting friend requests from people they don’t know, over-sharing, giving out sensitive information over the phone and not checking privacy settings

Justin Basini, ALLOW’s CEO said: “The results of our research are frightening. What we’ve discovered is that fraudsters use websites and social media to build detailed profiles of their intended targets, cross-referencing information from one site to another. They get most of what they want by virtue of the fact that most people give it away without thinking and then they fill in the gaps by either buying the data, hacking for it or tricking someone into revealing it. It should make anyone think twice about how they use social media and what personal information they give out. This is not pie in the sky, this type of crime is happening right now.”

Armed with this insider information, ALLOW set out to find just how many people might be at risk and discovered some alarming results:

  • Giving away personal data
    • 30% of people have revealed their email address – that represents 6.7 million facebook users in the UK
    • 34% have given out their date of birth (7.6 million facebook users) and 28% their location (6 million facebook users)
    • 10% have given out their mobile phone number (2.2 million people)
    • 26% have revealed where they work on social networks (there are 10.6 million LinkedIn users in the UK)
  • Connecting with strangers – 22% of people accept friend requests on Facebook from people they don’t know – that’s 7 million people in the UK
  • Photos – 62% of people have posted photos of themselves on Facebook and 12% have done the same on twitter
  • Privacy settings – One in four people (23%) have never checked their privacy settings on social media
  • Blame the social networks – One in three people (33%) think that social media companies don’t do enough to help people manage their privacy settings because it doesn’t suit their business model
  • Putting children at risk – 12% of people worry that their children are putting themselves in danger by giving away too much information online

ALLOW’s ‘Fraud 2.0’ report revealed a typical process that a criminal might go through, with the objective of impersonating someone in order to borrow money: firstly, the fraudster would look for the right kind of target, typically someone who freely gives away information online and doesn’t check their privacy settings. He would also look for someone who is reasonably wealthy, with a financial track record and a good credit rating. This is where LinkedIn helps fraudsters by displaying education and work history. Secondly, the fraudster would work through a list of people, chasing leads until one of them paid off. The idea is either to harvest enough information to impersonate an individual, or to trick either that individual or their friends into revealing personal data. Sometimes a fraudster will hack into emails in order to get further information.

Professor Martin Gill said: “Our in-depth interview with an offender was the sort of information that normally only a cell-mate would hear! The individual simply followed a process, building profiles and then if he got rumbled he just moved on to the next person. He found it shockingly easy to gather personal information online. He was fully aware of the damaging effects that ID fraud can have on victims, but to him it was just a means to an end. Don’t expect any sympathy from a fraudster if you over-share on social media.”

According to Stop ID Fraud, a quarter of the UK population have been victims of ID fraud, costing on average £1076 per individual. It takes on average 7 months to realise that you have been a victim of ID fraud and another 3-4 months to resolve the situation.

ALLOW recently launched ID fraud and social media insurance for ALLOW subscribers and covers them for events such as:

  • A claim made against them by a financial institute, merchant or collection agencies
  • The requirement to remove any criminal or civil judgments wrongly entered against them
  • The need to create documents to prove their innocence in respect of any financial irregularities unlawfully committed in their name

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Full report and figures available upon request. Qualitative research carried out by Perpetuity Research in October 2012. Quantitative research carried out by OnePoll in October 2012 amongst a sample of 2000 UK adults.

ALLOW (www.i-allow.com) was established by Justin Basini, a former Head of Marketing & Customer Initiative Management for Capital One in Europe. ALLOW is backed by Arts Alliance and is based in London and Chester. A full bio of the founder is on the website and photos are available on request.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.