Identity thefts

Identity theft is the crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person to use their identity to commit fraud, such as making unauthorized transactions or purchases. Identity theft is committed in many different ways and its victims are typically left with damage to their credit, finances, and reputation. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and credentials to commit fraud. There are various forms of identity theft, but the most common is financial. Identity theft protection is a growing industry that keeps track of people’s credit reports, financial activity, and Social Security number use.


Video: What is Identity Theft?

Types of Identity Theft

  1. Financial identity theft: someone uses another person’s identity or information to obtain credit, goods, services, or benefits.
  2. Social Security identity theft: If identity thieves obtain your Social Security number, they can use it to apply for credit cards and loans.
  3. Medical identity theft: someone poses as another person to obtain free medical care.
  4. Synthetic identity theft: a criminal combines real (usually stolen) and fake information to create a new identity, which is used to open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent purchases.
  5. Child identity theft: someone uses a child’s identity for various forms of personal gain.
  6. Tax identity theft: someone uses your personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a bogus state or federal tax return in your name and collect a refund.
  7. Criminal identity theft: a criminal pretends to be another person during an arrest to try to avoid a summons, prevent the discovery of a warrant issued in their real name, or avoid an arrest or conviction record.


Video: Watch Out These 8 Types of Identity Theft

Identity Theft Protection

One way is to continually check the accuracy of personal documents and promptly deal with any discrepancies. There are several identity theft protection services that help people avoid and mitigate the effects of identity theft. Typically, such services provide information helping people to safeguard their personal information; monitor public records and private records, such as credit reports, to alert their clients of certain transactions and status changes; and provide assistance to victims to help them resolve problems associated with identity theft. Some government agencies and non-profit organizations provide similar assistance, typically with websites that have information and tools to help people avoid, remedy, and report incidents of identity theft. Many of the best credit monitoring services also provide identity protection tools and services.