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PROJECT: SYNTHETIC IDENTITY THEFT

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Criminals are increasingly crafting synthetic identities by merging genuine personal information with fabricated details. Technological advancements and the proliferation of data breaches have amplified this trend.


Various reports indicate a significant increase in sophisticated identity theft cases identified by South African insurers.

The profound impact of identity theft on scams uncovered during fraud investigations cannot be negated.

 

EXPLOITING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES:

  • Fraudsters are adept at leveraging new technologies to execute various fraudulent schemes, particularly those involving identity theft.

  • They primarily target personal information such as ID numbers, bank account details, contact numbers, addresses, and retail account information for use in multiple scams.

MODUS OPERANDI:

  • Synthetic identity theft involves creating a false identity by blending real and fake identifying information.

  • For example, a fraudster might combine a stolen ID number with a fictitious name, birthdate, and address to form a new, fraudulent identity used for committing fraud.

  • One notable case involved a finance staff member at a multinational company who was tricked into transferring over $25 million (approximately R450 million) to fraudsters through a convincing fake video of the CFO.

DIGITAL IDENTITY FRAUD:

  • The "2024 Digital Identity Fraud in Africa Report" indicates that rapid digitisation across Africa has coincided with an increase in all types of fraud, including digital identity fraud.

  • The report, which analyses data from the past four years, reveals a consistent yearly rise in digital identity fraud since 2019.

  • By the end of 2023, the average rate of biometric and document fraud had increased by 17%. This signals an alarming rise in fraudulent activities and indicates that fraudsters continually improve their deceptive techniques.

CHALLENGES IN DETECTING AND ADDRESSING IDENTITY THEFT:

  • Identity theft often goes undetected for extended periods, causing significant harm to the victims by the time it is discovered.

  • Rectifying the damage is a lengthy and complex process.

  • In today’s digital age, where personal information is readily available on public platforms and increasingly accessible via the dark web owing to frequent data breaches, it remains critical to be proactive, informed and vigilant.

FRAUD PREVENTION MEASURES:

  • Fraudsters constantly seek opportunities to enhance and enrich stolen data, enabling them to carry out various fraudulent activities, such as vehicle financing fraud, investment scams, and opening false retail accounts.

  • Social engineering, which involves psychological manipulation used to trick victims into divulging personal information, is a common tactic used by these criminals.

 

SAFEGUARDING PERSONAL INFORMATION:

  • Verify Information Requests:

    • Always verify and authenticate any request for information, regardless of its apparent legitimacy.

    • Contact the insurance company or broker directly to confirm the request.

    • Be aware of psychological manipulation tactics used by fraudsters to gain trust.

  • Protect Identifiable Information:

    • Never share identifiable information, policy numbers, or claims numbers with strangers.

  • Secure Document Handling:

    • Exercise caution when storing or disposing of insurance documents.

  • Be Wary of Links:

    • Avoid phishing attacks when clicking on links.

  • Register as a Protective Victim:

    • If you suspect your personal information has been compromised, register as a protective victim with the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS).

 

If you believe that you have been a victim of synthetic identity theft, contact Mr Mike Bolhuis for assistance

from his professional, technologically advanced, and highly effective cybercrime unit.

 

Specialised Security Services invites the public to the Mike Bolhuis Daily Projects WhatsApp Group.

This group is important in delivering insights into the latest crime trends, awareness, warnings and the exposure of criminals.


HOW TO JOIN THE MIKE BOLHUIS DAILY PROJECTS WHATSAPP GROUP:

 
CONTACT MR MIKE BOLHUIS FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES, PROTECTION, OR AN INVESTIGATION IF NEEDED.

ALL INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY AND EVERY IDENTITY WILL BE PROTECTED.
 

Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

PSIRA Reg. 1590364/421949

Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

Fax: 086 585 4924

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EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: All potential clients need to be aware that owing to the nature of our work as specialist investigators there are people who have been caught on the wrong side of the law - who are trying to discredit me - Mike Bolhuis and my organisation Specialised Security Services - to get themselves off the hook. This retaliation happens on social media and creates doubt about our integrity and ability. Doubt created on social media platforms is both unwarranted and untrue. We strongly recommend that you make up your minds concerning me and our organisation only after considering all the factual information - to the exclusion of hearsay and assumptions. Furthermore, you are welcome to address your concerns directly with me should you still be unsatisfied with your conclusions. While the internet provides a lot of valuable information, it is also a platform that distributes a lot of false information. The distribution of false information, fake news, slander and hate speech constitutes a crime that can be prosecuted by law. Your own research discretion and discernment are imperative when choosing what and what not to believe.


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