What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a crime. Identity theft is a  terminology used to specify to all kinds of criminality wherein somebody unlawfully gets and uses another person’s personal information in a way that involves lies or dishonesty, generally for monetary gain.

Identity thefts is one-of-a-kind and speedy flourishing crimes in the country and what can be actually frustrating about this is that you cannot really know how fast it is growing.

How thieves can steal your identity?

Not only are identity theft cases tough to deal with, they are too hard to discover. There were identity crimes that are not resolved until after a decade by reason of lacking information.

Always remember that though these crimes may be easily detected through credit card purchases, there are some con artists that do not use that avenue. What they do is just assume your name and personal history and use it as their own.

Unlike your fingerprints, which is impossible to copy, your personal data  especially your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, your telephone  number, and other  identifyable data  can be used, if they fall into the wrong hands.

In the United States and Canada, for example, many people have reported that unauthorized persons have taken funds out of their bank or financial accounts and in the worst cases, took over their identities, obtaining huge debts and committing crimes while using the victims’s names.

In these cases, the victim’s losses may include not only  financial losses, but  additional financial costs associated with trying to restore his reputation.

How Does Identity Theft Happen

In recent years, the Internet has become the perfect place for criminals to obtain personal data, such as passwords or even banking information.

In their haste to explore the exciting features of the Internet, many people respond to “spam”  unsolicited E-mail that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data, without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his promise.

In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data.

If you have received mail in applications for “preapproved” credit cards, but have thrown them in the garbage can without tearing up the enclosed materials, criminals may retrieve them from the trash and activate them without your knowledge.

(Some credit card companies, when sending credit cards, have adopted security measures that allow a card recipient to activate the card only from his or her home telephone number but this is not yet a universal practice.)

Also, if your mail is delivered to a place where others have ready access to it, criminals can just intercept and redirect your mail to another location so that they will receive them.

With enough identifying information, a criminal can assume an individual’s identity and conduct a wide range of crimes:

For example, applications for loans and credit cards, withdrawals from bank accounts, use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name.

If the criminal takes steps to ensure that bills for the falsely obtained credit cards, or bank statements showing the unauthorized withdrawals, are sent to an address other than the victim’s,

The victim may not even be aware of what is happening until it is much too late when the criminal has done much damage to the victim’s assets, credit, and reputation.

 

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