‘Identity Theft’: A New Face of Cyber-Crime

‘Identity Theft’: A New Face of Cyber-Crime

When you enter your pin after having a splendid dinner in your favourite restaurant, do you check your surroundings? After cancelling your transaction in the nearby ATM, do you wait for a minute after the cancellation? After you swipe your credit card in a shopping mall, do you receive a valid message on your phone? If not, then start adopting these measures because you need your money and bank account secured. Identity theft is the new coined word in the world of information and technology rather; cyber world. It is the newest type of cyber-crime that involves obtaining all personal rather financial databases of a person with an intentionally dangerous purpose and then using the database or information of that user to make future transactions or purchases.

Various types of Identity theft

Electronic Record Laws

This involves access to electronic records of an individual without approval from the owner or a particular executor of those accounts. This includes records of work-place, lease records, credit or debit card history, financial documents, medical and health records, taxation records, and bank accounts.

Phishing

This is the term used when legitimate-looking fake emails are used to tempt an individual or a user to access their account online. The user is asked or rather tempted to click on the link to access his/her account online. When one inputs the username and password all the information automatically gets transmitted to the identity thief. Many foreign countries have stringent laws against phishing scams and some countries issue heavy penalties.

Forgery

It is the act of using another user’s signature or digital signature by hacking to obtain various benefits. It is an electrical means of crime done with the help of a computer. Identity thieves or hackers use the personal information or database to open new accounts electronically. When the thief is exposed to the new accounts, he/she commits a cyber-crime by logging in and accepting the user id along with the usage of any agreement.

How to defend oneself from Identity theft?

Stealing someone’s identity and pretending to be someone else by inculcating that individual’s identity, usually as a method to gain open access to the useful resources or obtain money and other benefits in that person’s name is “Identity theft” in summary. Now that one has a brief idea about identity theft; all one requires is education and training to prevent such crimes.

Existing Cyber laws

Cyber Crime Investigation Unit of the Mumbai Police came into existence on 18th December 2000. This cyber-crime branch deals with the offence or crime related to computer resources, computer systems, computer devices, computer network, and Internet. The Prevention act is known as ‘The Information Technology Act 2000 Chapter IX Sec 66C.’Under this act PUNISHMENT FOR IDENTITY THEFT can be provided to whoever is involved in fraudulent or dishonest measures and makes use of the electronic signature, password or other unique identification feature of any individual. He/she shall be punished with an imprisonment of a term extended to even three years and shall be liable to a fine which might extend to Rs 1 lakh.