How These Effects Of Identity Theft Articles Can Help Protect Our Good Name
This first of effects of identity theft articles looks at and discusses what identity (ID) theft is and its impact. We'll also get acquainted with how we're scammed and why.
In the second article, we'll examine the effects of...
- Internet Identity Theft
- Discovering Identity Theft
- How ID Theft Impacts Us
1. Effects Of Identity Theft Articles... What Is ID Theft & ID Fraud?Identity theft is when someone steals our personal information and assumes our identity as their own
. It is the number one growing crime across the world today, even though many of us are increasing our efforts to guard privacy.
The instances of identity theft have increased as the availability of personal information and the amount held by third parties has increased. For instance...
- In the USA, a great deal of personal information is publicly available. This includes mortgage details, social security numbers and driving license details.
- In the United Kingdom, car hire agencies, car dealerships, solicitors and banks now routinely take a copy of identity documents as a condition of doing business. This means that a person's identity documents are available to those companies, associated companies and their employees.
The financial institutions make a subtle distinction between identity theft and identity fraud -- the latter being related to financial fraud, such as a perpetrator using someone-else's credit card for a financial transaction.
However, the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) in the USA includes identity fraud within its definition of identity theft. So, for us consumers, ID theft and ID fraud are interchangeable and mean the same.
With their new identification in hand, the identity thief can live a life in our name. They can...
- Open new accounts
- Apply for loans or mortgages
- Commit fraud or other crimes in our name
These actions potentially affect every aspect of our life, from getting a new job to a new mortgage. In other words, ID thieves can generally make an expensive mess of our lives by ruining our credit and damaging our reputation and good name.
Research undertaken in effects of identity theft articles reveals this type of crime is far from being a rare occurrence. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 9 million cases of identity theft occur each year in the US... and those are just the reported cases.
Many people are victims of identity theft and don't even know that it has happened. That is why it is so important to learn all we can from effects of identity theft articles and arm ourselves with the know-how to guard privacy from this insidious attack.
2. Effects Of Identity Theft Articles... How We're Scammed
Contrary to popular belief, illegal access to personal information often happens through traditional means such as paper financial statements, checks or credit cards. The perpetrator is often someone previously known to the victim
, such as a "friend", family member, or acquaintance.
Studies reported in effects of identity theft articles are very clear on how personal information is being stolen...
- First and foremost, personal information is gathered by stealing mail or going through someone's trash to obtain sensitive information, such as bank details, social security number, etc.
- This is followed by fraudulently obtaining credit reports.
- Then there's the old-fashioned theft of a purse or wallet, when the thief may be lucky enough to get credit cards and driver's licence.
- Finally, there's Internet identity theft -- but more of that in Part 2
3. Effects Of Identity Theft Articles... How Is Our ID Information Used?
Well, once obtained, this information is used to commit a wide variety of crimes. Again, according to the latest research from effects of identity theft articles, those crimes include:
- credit card fraud
- utilities fraud
- banking and loan fraud
- employment fraud
- social security fraud
- tax return fraud
- medical fraud
- securities and investment fraud
- bankruptcy fraud
- and immigration and government documentation fraud
This concludes this first article. The second of the Effects Of Identity Theft Articles follows on with Internet identity theft, how we discover ID theft and how ID theft can affect us in more detail.
Additionally, the following articles provide more information about, and protection from, identity theft...
4. Effects Of Identity Theft Articles... Supporting Information