South Dakota BBB Warns Public of “Synthetic” Identity Theft
Could you be a victim of "Synthetic" Identity Theft and not even know it? Experts at the Better Bussiness Bureau say yes.
What exactly is Synthetic Identity Theft? According to the Better Business Bureau, it's when scammers find pieces of your information and combine it with another person's information. In doing so, they trick companies into giving them credit.
How do scammers make this work? According to the BBB, it's a multi-pronged approach.
Initially, they will be declined since they don't have a credit profile, but this creates a record of a "person" that doesn't actually exist. Next, scammers add that "person" to one or more legitimate accounts and over time, the crooks build up a credit history until they can qualify for large lines of credit. Once approved for a high line of credit, the BBB says the scammers do what's called a "bust-out," meaning the con artists charge their credit cards to the limit, pays nothing, discards the identity and disappears.
There's even a chance that your partial identity has been used by these scammers and you might not even be aware of it. So how can you protect yourself from this scam? The experts at the BBB say there are two simple ways.
The first is to not give out your social security number unless you have no other choice. The second is to question why a caller needs your personal information and also, how they plan on protecting your information.
You are the first line of defense against these scammers, but the BBB can also help. Check out their "Scam Tracker" to find the latest scams in your area.