How Con Artists Are Changing Tactics To Steal Identities

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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – The rise of chip-based credit cards in the United States has forced con artists to change their tactics. A recent study says more than 15 million Americans had personal and financial information stolen last year. That is up 16 percent from 2015.

When thieves pose as a customer to gain access to their accounts, it’s called an “account takeover.” In 2016, those instances increased by nearly 40 percent.

Just last week, cyber criminals took over one New Jersey man’s bank accounts in minutes.

“There’s nothing I could’ve done to stop it,” Marc Alfinez told CBS News’ Dana Jacobson. “That was the bank that let him in.”

Alfinez found out that hackers had taken over his bank account last week when he got a series of email notifications that his online ID and password had been changed.

The thieves called his bank and used personal details that he believes were stolen when the Office of Personnel Management was breached in 2015.

“They had all my pedigree information: social security card, driver’s license, wife’s maiden name, all that stuff,” Alfinez said. “But they couldn’t pass the phone password. But since they had all that other information, they still let them in.”

Alfinez said hackers drained his bank accounts, and his children’s savings accounts in under 45 minutes.

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