Identity theft is a serious problem that can have serious consequences for an individual. Identity theft is when a criminal or fraudster obtains personally identifiable information for the purpose of impersonating the individual.
Types of personal information
There are two categories of identity theft, true name and account takeover.
- True name: in this circumstance, the thief used the information stolen to open new accounts. The thief could open a credit card account, open a checking account, establish a cellular phone service, or open other types of accounts to benefit from some sort of compensation or service.
- Account takeover: the stolen personal information is used to gain access to an existing account. Usually, the thief changes the mailing address of the account and makes purchases or takes money from the account before the individual whose identity has been stolen realizes it.
Identity theft can take many different forms following the two categories describe it can be
- Tax-related: the thief files false tax return claim with false identity to gain compensation
- Child identity theft: A child social security number is used to obtain government benefits
- Medical identity theft: information regarding health insurance is stolen and used by the fraudster with the bill reflecting on the victim’s account.
The different manner in which criminals and fraudster use identity theft are plenty and limited only by their imagination.
Consequences of identity theft
Identity theft can have very serious consequences. If the personal information is used to commit a crime, the person victim of identity theft could be under police suspicion. He/she may be investigated and at worst even arrested before proving their innocence.
Another consequence of identity theft is that if the information had been used for making some fraudulent financial transaction, the victim could find himself or herself in serious financial debt or difficulties.
The fight against identity theft
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