• Love Hurts in Cases of Identity Fraud by Family or LoversFebruary 18, 2019

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    This post comes from CyberScout, one of Barton Mutual’s partners in providing cyber liability insurance to our policyholders. If you are interested in cyber insurance for yourself or your small business, contact one of our independent agents today.

    Unfortunately, familiar fraud is all too common. More than 1 million children experience identity theft annually, and two-thirds know the perpetrators. [1] Seniors, college students, spouses, significant others and online daters are also targeted.

    Watch out for these common types of familiar fraud:

    Familiar identity fraud: A friend or family member applies for loans or credit cards using your personal information. Victims who are children or college students, often do not learn of the fraud until years later. They begin their adult lives with poor credit, which can hinder finding a place to rent, getting a loan and even landing a job.

    Catfishing: In potentially dangerous situation, you aren’t dating who you think you’re dating online. Catfishing occurs when someone sets up a too-good-to-be-true online persona (often by stealing someone else’s identity) to attract romantic partners. Sometimes it’s done as a prank, but often, it is leading toward some type of fraud once the catfish earns your trust.

    Romance scams: You’ve met your perfect match, and you are ready to meet in person. There’s just one problem—he or she needs you to send money for travel expenses. In a typical romance scam, you are swept off your feet by skillful online seduction, often by a catfish. Requests for money quickly follow. Funds usually can’t be recovered, and Americans lost more than $230 billion to romance scams in 2016. [2]

    [1] “How Identity Crooks Can Steal Your Child’s Good Name,” HeraldNet, May 1, 2018, https://www.heraldnet.com/business/how-identity-crooks-can-steal-your-childs-good-name/.

    [2] “FBI Cautions Public to be Wary of Online Romance Scams,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Feb. 7, 2018, https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/washingtondc/news/press-releases/fbi-cautions-public-to-be-wary-of-online-romance-scams.

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