Monday, May 15, 2017

Ex-lover & ID theft

By Greg Wright
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified Financial Planner™

There is a thin line between love and hate. 

Scientists have an explanation.  Brain scans of people shown images of individuals they hated were similar to brain activity activated by individuals they love.  Love and hate appear to be controlled by the same section of the brain.  Therefore, when you no longer love a person, it is psychologically easy to shift into “hate” mode.  

Perhaps that has led to the popularity of “revenge” books and internet sites.

The mother of all revenge sources may have first been sold by the Paladin Press.  Named after that old TV Emmy-nominated show “Have Gun, Will Travel.”  Perhaps their long-time, best selling famous book was “Get Even – the complete book of 200 dirty tricks.”  First published in 1980.  The publisher’s current popular book is the “Revenge Encyclopedia.”

However, with the use of the internet, it may be easier to carry out revenge strategies today than in 1980.  Paladin’s dirty tricks have been amplified by the internet.  Today, it is even easier to get even and even remain anonymous.  Just Google “revenge”  to find out.  Maybe visit the dark net for even dirtier tricks.

Revenge porn.  The term "revenge porn" refers to the uploading to the internet sexually explicit material to humiliate an individual, who has broken off the relationship.  Illegal in most jurisdictions. The explicit images may be accompanied by the identity of the pictured individual, home address, and can even include links to their social media site, and employer.  The images can expose victims to professional ridicule.     

In addition to intimate details, former spouses and love interests may have had access to personal and financial information.  Often, lots of information.  Business and personal identifiable information (PII).  Tax information. Enough information to easily allow the misuse your identity.  It’s bad enough to post pornographic pictures of a former lover or spouse.  Some actors are more focused on revenge than avoiding breaking the law.

If you were in a relationship that went bad, take inventory.  Did he/she have access to your tax and business records? 

Take defensive action.

Google your name and picture.  Find out if someone else is using your Social Security number.  Has he/she arranged "synthetic ID theft" of your Social Security number?  Monitor social media using your name and business name. Check your credit for suspicious activities. 

If things don’t seem “right” or if the relationship was especially messy, contact an ID theft prevention and victim advisor. 


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