INSIDE COSTCO // SERVICES
Complete ID works for you
he term “dark web” may sound like something from a horror novel or an episode of
The Twilight Zone, but it is real, and can
present serious problems for anyone caught
in it. In 2017, 16. 7 million consumers found them-
selves victims of identity fraud, says a 2018 Identity
Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research.
Complete ID™, a part of Experian, the provider
of identity protection tools for Costco members,
answers some questions about it.
What is the dark web?
The dark web is a hidden network of websites
that require special tools to access. It is the “
bottom” part of the internet and is not accessible by
standard search engines like Google, Bing, Safari
and Firefox. Dark web visitors use special software,
not generally available, to mask their identities and
internet protocol (IP) addresses. It is where criminals buy or sell stolen personal information,
including Social Security numbers (SSN), credit
and debit card information, driver’s license
numbers, medical records and more.
How do identity thieves buy personal
information on the dark web?
Through one-time purchases, such as a single
SSN; batches of the same types of data, such as
credit or debit card numbers; and various types of
information bundled together. Think of it as a
shopping mall of illicit personal information.
What are the most common pieces of
personal information sold on the dark web?
• Social Security numbers.
• Payment services logins (e.g., PayPal).
• Credit or debit card numbers with card
verification value (CVV) number.
• Credit or debit card numbers with
• Driver’s license numbers.
• U.S. passports.
• General non-financial institution logins.
• Medical records.
How to protect yourself from the dark web
Stay vigilant about your personal information.
Here are some things you can do:
• Monitor all your accounts and statements for
any information that doesn’t look right.
• Do a regular credit report check for applications or new accounts you didn’t initiate.
• Change passwords often.
• Sign up with an identity protection service
provider to monitor online activity.
The dark web is where
information is bought