Woman using social media on phone and laptop

Bridging the Gap Between ID Theft & Social Media

As of 2019, about 7-in-10 Americans use social media to connect with each other, as reported by the Pew Research Center. This staggering statistic demonstrates the widespread popularity of social media in the US but also sheds light on the fact that these users are prone to being victims of social media identity fraud.

It comes as no surprise that internet users are vulnerable to hackers. After all, hacking has been around almost as long as computers. But as social media has become an integral part of people’s lives, identity fraud is becoming increasingly common on these platforms.

The reality is the internet does not protect users from getting hacked and being victims of identity fraud. You may be falsely accused of a crime if your social media accounts get hacked and someone commits cybercrimes using your profile and personal information; this will give law enforcement the wrong idea that you are committing such offenses. Technology isn’t perfect, so it’s best to be aware of the crimes that can be committed online to best avoid a false criminal accusation.

Types of Social Media ID Theft

Social media identity fraud involves illegally obtaining someone’s personal information to commit fraudulent acts. There are several ways that social media identity fraud can be committed, such as:

  • Infecting computers with malicious malware to gain access to your personal data.
  • Using your publicly displayed information on social media to create a fake account that impersonates you.
    • Scammers may then ask your family, friends and followers to send donations for a fake charity that, in reality, goes to those scammers’ pockets.
    • Scammers may post hateful, derogatory and explicit messages and photos under your name.
    • Scammers may send spammy links to other people you know, and chances are, those people will click on the links if they believe that you legitimately sent them.
  • Sending messages with a link in the text that directs you to phony sweepstakes, websites and promotions and gift cards.
  • Printing fake IDs using your photo.
  • Theft crimes and fraud may be committed when you post photos and status updates showing that you’re out of town. By doing this, your home and business may be vulnerable to break-ins, where criminals can access your bank and Social Security details.

As mentioned previously, you may unknowingly become a crime suspect if the police discover fraudulent activity under your name, even if you didn’t do anything illegal. If your social media account gets hacked without your knowledge, law enforcement may charge you with fraud crimes because they may assume that you committed these acts rather than a hacker.

To best overcome your false criminal charges, put a team of Iowa City criminal defense attorneys on your side. Since 1992, we’ve helped people in your situation walk away from their accusations. Allow us to help you do the same. Contact (319) 499-5524 to get started!

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