Identity theft is achieved when a person steals someone’s identity and pretends to be the owner of that identity. This is done in order to gain access to information or resources of the identity owner without his or her knowledge and approval. In fact, identity thieves can perform further criminal activities using stolen identity thus exposing the victim of identity theft to adverse consequences as they will be regarded as the ones who committed the criminal acts.
Types of Identity Theft
Criminal identity theft
This is when a person identifies himself to the authority using another person’s identity. In some instances, criminals have managed to obtain state-issued identification documents by use of stolen credentials or presenting fake identity. The victims of identity theft may not be aware of such incidents until a time when they receive court summons or when their driving licenses are suspended.
In this case, identity thieves conceal their own identity by using other people’s identities. It is commonly done by illegal immigrants, those hiding from lenders, or those who want to remain anonymous for personal reasons. When identity is used by fraudster to obtain credit, it will be detected when the debts mount. On the other hand, concealment may proceed for some time without being detected especially when the thief has managed to obtain false credentials to allow him pass certain tests.
Criminal Identity Theft
When a criminal being arrested uses another person’s identity to identify himself, it is known as criminal identity theft. The criminals may have obtained government issued identification documents using stolen credentials or presenting fake ID. In this case, charges may be preferred under the name of the victim and the criminal may be off the hook.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Synthetic identity theft has become very common because identities can be fabricated partially or completely. Real social security number is combined with a name and date of birth different from the ones associated with that number. Synthetic identity may be difficult to track as there is no direct link to a person’s credit report.
Medical Identity Theft
A person will seek medical care under another person’s medical identity. Besides the financial harm inflicted by all types of identity theft, medical history of the thief may be included in the medical record of the victim which may be difficult to correct thus affecting future insurability of the victim.
Child Identity Theft
An imposter may use a minor’s identity for their own personal gain. The imposter can be a stranger, friend or a family member. This form of fraud may be undetected for a long time.
Protecting your identity is very crucial because fraudsters are out there and may take the available opportunity to harm you financially or psychologically. Therefore, make sure your identity is safe and secure all the time.