Identity theft or identity fraud is a criminal event that occurs when one person takes personal information belonging to somebody else and uses it without authority for abuse or gain.

There are many ways to obtain information and falsify or create counterfeit documents. Sensitive personal information is readily accessible and can easily be abused by unscrupulous people. Social security numbers, birth certificates, driver's licenses, credit card information, and financial account numbers can be obtained via a lost wallet, "dumpster diving", the mail, your employer, your hospital, or your Internet account, to name a few. The ability to obtain sensitive information about someone is far too easy, and identity thieves pursue a variety of fraudulent schemes that impact a victim's financial, employment, medical, tax, and even criminal record and status.


How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Unfortunately, identity information can be uncovered and used in simple and complex ways. Some of the possibilities include:

  • False Identification

    False Identification: After a criminal has personally identifiable information, they can obtain false drivers licenses, birth certificates, passports, medical ID cards, etc. One interesting statistic depicts the difficulty of preventing identity fraud whereby approximately 12% of victims have a personal relationship with their assailant.

  • Credit Card Fraud

    Credit Card Fraud: Simply obtaining a credit card number or the card itself can allow criminals to make unauthorized charges to your account. Numbers are found on receipts or your monthly statements in the mail or cards are lost or stolen from wallets or obtained from new cards arriving in the mail. Credit card fraud can occur at a merchant or over the telephone or Internet where you do not need to be present to purchase goods.

  • Computer Hacking

    Computer Hacking: Today's vast databases of personal information are targets for criminals who can hack into computer systems with limited technology skills. Before you buy goods on the internet, be selective and provide your details only to reputable companies that have proper security measures in force. Similarly, information can be obtained on your home computer and you should take steps to prevent access by turning off your computer, buying a personal firewall, or storing important information off line.

  • Skimming

    Skimming: Is a type of credit card fraud which occurs in the course of a normal, legitimate transaction and involves copying the magnetic stripe from a genuine payment card and transferring the information to a substitute counterfeit card.

  • Dumpster Diving

    Dumpster Diving: The simple process of digging through trash can uncover important personal details. It is important to shred important documents or mail that you have prior to disposing it. Most important is to shred "pre-approved" credit offers which arrive in the mail frequently and without warning.

What can you do to Prevent the burdens of Identity Theft?

Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that you will never become a victim of identity theft. That's why it is important to increase your education and your defenses. You should always try your best and then let us do the rest. Every protection program from Identity Fraud, Inc. includes Core Identity Protection, which provides a) Unlimited Victim Resolution Services and b) Identity Insurance. So no matter what type of identity fraud occurs, simple or complex, you'll have resources to help combat fraud and regain your core asset, your identity. Enroll today.

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