Information stolen in computer breaches of well-known companies is flooding into an underground digital market called the Dark Web, where criminals buy and sell Social Security numbers, credit card information and computer passwords to be used for fraud, an investigation in the September issue  of AARP Bulletin reveals

Using software originally developed by the U.S. Navy and available for free to anyone who wishes to download it, criminals buy and sell private data with complete anonymity, then use it to commit identity fraud. Approximately 6.6 percent of U.S. adults were victimized last year, the report shows, and allegedly, more than half of Americans’ Social Security numbers are for sale for as low as a few dollars each.

The article also details how identity fraud typically occurs, and the many proven, powerful ways consumers can protect themselves.

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