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Dark Web
The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.
Data Breach
A security incident in which sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.
Identity Theft
When a fraudster uses someone else’s name, social security number, or other personal information to establish accounts in their name.
Mail Fraud
Identity thieves steal someone’s mail (which may include pre-approved credit card applications) to obtain their personal information. Mail fraud is the #1 form of fraud in the US.
Short for “malicious software,” any harmful software that affects a computer, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware.
When hackers redirect internet traffic from one website to a different, identical-looking site in order to trick someone into entering their username and password into the database on their fake site. Similar to spoofing.
The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.
The collection of an individual’s personal information under false pretenses, typically over the phone or via e-mail.
Shoulder Surfing
The procedure fraudsters use to spy on someone when they enter their PIN code into an ATM or Point of Sale device, either by looking over their shoulder or watching from a distance (possibly with binoculars).
A method fraudsters use to steal personal information by swiping a card into a hidden device or a device that resembles part of an ATM or Point of Sale device. Skimming is commonly done by an employee of a restaurant, gas station, or any other place where people swipe cards.
Social Engineering
The use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.
Unsolicited commercial emails. Spam comes from legitimate companies as well as questionable sources.
A fraudulent website or email that appears to be from a well-known company and attempts to get someone to provide, update, or confirm their personal information. Similar to pharming.
General term for any technology that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge.
Trojan Horse
When someone downloads something they want and also gets something else they don’t want, cleverly hidden inside (yes, just like the famous story.)
Using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone numbers to steal user information.
Malware that can copy itself like a biological virus. Viruses typically lie dormant inside of an executable file until someone runs that file, when it spreads to other executable files on a system.
Like a virus, a worm self-replicates and uses the internet to spread from computer to computer. Unlike a virus, a user doesn’t need to download or run any files to become infected by a worm. An internet connection is all that is necessary.

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