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Crooks Trawl Networking Sites July 22, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Social Media.
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Fraudsters are taking advantage of the new craze for social networking. Credit reference agency Equifax says the popularity of MySpace, Bebo, Facebook and Friends Reunited is increasing the risk of fraud as criminals trawl the sites to steal identities. From personal details posted online, crooks can get enough information about someone to obtain loans and open credit card accounts.

Web 2.0 sites have become an internet phenomenon, encouraging millions of users to share thoughts, photographs and lives online. Many post personal information, such as date of birth, phone numbers and home address. The wealth of personal details displayed on these sites is a gold mine for crooks.

The problem is that people don’t realise the significance of the kind of information they are putting out on the Web and who may be accessing it. Some users are also, inadvertently, inviting burglars to their homes by posting their addresses and details about when they are on holiday.

Equifax advised people to limit the personal information they make available about themselves online. It said people should avoid putting their full date of birth on one of the sites, as well as the names of children or pets as these are often used as passwords.

This guide lists steps you can take to reduce your risk of fraud.

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