What is identity theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
Identity theft is consider a serious crime, in US alone around 9 Millions Americans have their identities stolen each year. This is not only happening in the US but around the globe, as this crime gives the perpetrators personal gains especially financial gains. Its seems that people nowadays forget the basic principle of the law Solutio Indebiti or quasi-contract – no one will be unjustly enriched or benefited at the expense of another.
How do thieves steal an identity?
There are a lot of ways on how identity theft start stealing your personal information and turn it against you. Common identity thieves use various method including but not limited to following:
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
- Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
- Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.
Effects of Identity theft
Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit. Not to mention that your good name is ruined.
You will be spending hundred of dollars repairing your good name, that is paying for stuff you don’t even use or buy.
So safeguarding ones personal and financial information is a must to avoid the trouble that could not be easily undone.