WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Just when you thought hackers have tried everything, they’re now using stolen social security numbers to create completely new identities linking them to a new name and birthdate. The effort is being called synthetic identity theft.
Technology experts at Northeast IT systems say this particular kind of identity theft has been around as long as hackers have been stealing identity, but they warn that the way the internet is used now has only made it easier for the thieves.
“Because the way social media is, the way your information is available, all you have to do is google your name and people can find out where you live, at least the last four digits of your phone number, so it’s pretty scary,” Chris Bovino, from Northeast IT Systems, said.
Experts at Bankrate.com warn hackers are now targeting children’s social security numbers, because typically they don’t have credit linked to them yet, a concept that has some local residents stunned.
“Disgusting really. It’s disgusting to do it to anybody but to take it to that level it’s in comprehensible,” Julie Jediny, from Springfield, told 22News.
Technology experts urge to protect yourself, never give your social security number out over the phone, and very cautious with what information you put on and link to social media.
To protect your children, take advantage of the free credit checks offered by the government each year, that way you can keep tabs on their credit report just as you do your own.