Information Security Awareness for Women

What is Identity theft?

Identity theft is the crime of acquiring another person’s personal or financial information in order to conduct fraud, such as making unlawful transactions or purchases. Identity theft occurs in a variety of ways, leaving victims with harm to their credit, income, and reputation.

Phony Profile or Fake Profile:

  • A false profile creation occurs when cyber criminals build a social media profile using the victim’s identification credentials, such as name, address, email address, photograph, and so on, without their knowledge
  • Fraudsters establish bogus profiles with the purpose of harming the victim
  • The fraudsters utilize the phony profile to distribute misleading or fabricated information, harm the victim’s reputation, and may even send friend requests to the victim’s other friends in order to get financial profit

Why should we be worried?

  • A bogus social media profile made in someone’s name might harm their public reputation
  • Furthermore, any contact made by the perpetrator with the genuine account holder’s friends and family via this phony account might render them exposed to cyber assaults such as phishing, financial scams, and so on since they can be deceived into disclosing their information by the fraudster

The Risks of Creating Fake Social Media Profiles:

  • The fraudster may conduct crimes by using the bogus profile he or she created
  • Spreading incorrect and misleading information
  • The victim’s reputation suffers
  • Sending bogus friend requests
  • Use a false personal to entice youngsters and teenagers
  • Makes the victim’s friends and family susceptible to cyber-attacks such as phishing, bogus links, malware assaults, and so on
  • Financial fraud can also occur when money is requested over messenger/messaging systems

Modus operandi:

  • The fraudsters create a bogus profile using available or collected identity-related information via various means, such as
    • social engineering tactics
    • phishing
    • recent photographs from events, functions, achievements, family, etc.
  • They can use the fake social media presence they created to
    • send friend invites to the victim in order to catch them
    • send bogus messages in order to harm the individual being impersonated’s reputation
    • solicit money/gifts; pretend to have love interests in exchange for money; try to sell fraudulent goods/items

How can we protect ourselves?

  • Enable the social media networks’ two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA)
  • Avoid revealing personal information such as your address, cellphone number, personal email address, and other sensitive identifying information on social media and limit access
  • Do not publicly disclose your personal high-resolution photos on social media platforms
  • Share group photos rather than individual photos, and only share minimal information on social networking channels
  • Never give money in response to demands made on social media accounts
  • Never accept friend requests from unfamiliar people without proper verification and confirmation, and always call to check before paying
  • Never click on suspicious links or download anything unless you have verified the source’s validity
  • Use unique passwords for each social media account and email account
  • Be on the lookout for any inquiries regarding your internet activities that you are not aware of
  • Report any phony profiles on social media and on the cybercrime portal
  • Be mindful of and enable security and privacy options on social media accounts

How to report?

The following laws apply to this offense:

  • Indian Penal Code – IT Act 2000
    • Section 66, Section 66C, Section 67, Section 67A, Section 67B
    • It may also attract Sections 13 & 14 under the POCSO Act, 2012