There are a variety of ways in which identity theft can occur, and while public awareness of identity theft has increased, identity theft remains a growing concern. This is due in part to new methods of data collection, one example of which is known as typosquatting.
When a user types in a web address—for example, that of a popular retailer like Target or Wal-Mart—typos can occur, such as a letter accidentally added or omitted by the user.
Typosquatting is often considered a minor nuisance, but in some cases, the consequences can be devastating. In some cases, the user’s browser will go to a malicious website disguised as the retailer the user was trying to access. If the user then tries to make a purchase off the fake website, the data thieves who created the site will end up with the user’s name, address, and credit card information.
Everyone knows identity theft is illegal, but even the mere act of creating a website with a typosquatting address can carry criminal penalties. An experienced attorney can help set the record straight in the event of a typosquatting-related arrest.
CBS’s full report on typosquatting can be found here.