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Is ID.me a scam?

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  • 5 min read

ID.me has become a popular platform for verifying your identity online, particularly for accessing government services and benefits. But with its rise in use, questions about its security and legitimacy have also emerged.

This article discusses ID.me, whether It is a scam, the common types of ID.me, and what you can do if you get scammed.


What is ID.me?

ID.me is an online platform that provides identity verification services. It allows you to create an account and verify your identity using government-issued IDs and facial recognition scans. Government agencies, businesses, and organisations commonly use ID.me to verify users’ identities in order to grant them access to certain services or benefits. These can include unemployment benefits, tax refunds, healthcare services, and more.

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Is ID.me a scam?

ID.me itself is not a scam. It’s a legitimate company providing a service. However, scammers have been known to impersonate ID.me to steal personal information. Be cautious of any unsolicited emails or messages supposedly from ID.me.

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Types of ID.me scams

ID.me is a helpful service for online identity verification, but its popularity also makes it a target for scammers. They use phishing attacks to fool users into giving away personal details or clicking on harmful links. Here are a few common ID.me scams:

  • Phishing emails: Beware of emails that claim to be from the ID.me security team. They may warn you about suspicious activity, threaten account suspension, or pressure you with tight deadlines to re-validate your account. These emails often contain a fake ‘Verify Account’ or ‘Reset Password’ button, leading you to a phishing website to steal your login credentials.
  • Smishing text scams: Similar to emails, scammers may send text messages pretending to be from ID.me. They’ll urge you to click a link to validate your account and avoid account lockouts. However, these links also direct you to phishing websites.
  • Vishing phone scams: Scammers may call you, posing as ID.me support, and claim that your account is at risk and requires immediate action. They may pressure you to provide personal details, grant remote access to your device, or download fake security software. These tactics can result in malware installation and data theft.
  • Fake ID.me websites: Be cautious of fake websites that mimic the real ID.me login page. These websites aim to capture your login credentials and personal information if you mistakenly use them.
  • Malicious software scams: Phishing attempts can involve infected email attachments, links to download fake security software or requests for remote access to diagnose connectivity issues. These tactics can lead to malware installation, allowing thieves to steal data directly from your device.

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What to do if you get scammed?

If you think that your ID.me account or identity might have been compromised, follow these steps:

Secure your accounts and limit further loss

  • Cease communication: Immediately stop all contact with the scammer. Don’t respond to emails, calls, or messages.
  • Change login credentials: Update your passwords for potentially compromised accounts, including financial institutions and online services.
  • Consider account freezing: If financial fraud is suspected, contact your bank(s) to discuss freezing your accounts and minimising potential losses.

Report the scam to the appropriate authorities

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): File a report with the FTC at https://www.identitytheft.gov/. This helps the FTC track scam trends and provides resources for recovery.
  • Law enforcement: Consider reporting the scam to your local law enforcement agency, especially if significant financial losses occur.
  • Notify the platform: If the scam occurred on a specific online platform, report the incident to that platform’s security team.

Monitor your financial activity

  • Review account statements: Check your bank and credit card statements for unauthorised transactions and report any suspicious activity immediately.
  • Credit report monitoring: Obtain a free credit report from each of the three major bureaus and monitor it regularly for signs of identity theft. You can dispute any errors you find.

Take Steps for Recovery (if necessary)

  • Dispute unauthorised charges: If fraudulent charges appear on your accounts, contact the financial institution and dispute them following their procedures.
  • Recover stolen funds: Follow the established protocols of your bank or relevant institutions to recover stolen funds.
  • Identity theft protection: If you suspect identity theft, consider enrolling in identity theft protection services for additional security and monitoring.

Tips to stay safe

Here are a few tips to avoid getting scammed:

  • Double-check the sender’s address: Never click links or reply to emails or texts from suspicious addresses. Legitimate ID.me communication will come from an @id.me address.
  • Don’t trust unsolicited requests: ID.me won’t ask you to verify your account through unsolicited messages.
  • Only use the official ID.me website: Go directly to the ID.me official website instead of clicking links in emails or texts.
  • Beware of urgency: Scammers often create a sense of urgency to pressure you into acting quickly. Take your time and verify information independently.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security to your ID.me account.

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Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: singhakash95@pm.me

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