Tuesday, 13 September 2016

What Is Identity Theft?

Someone recently asked me, “What is identity theft?” I replied by explaining to her that the answer can be long and complicated, but to sum up what is identity theft, it is a situation in which someone uses anything that personally identifies you in order to achieve personal or financial gain.

What is identity theft for personal gain?

You might wonder “What is identity theft for personal gain?” because when you hear the word theft you think of somebody stealing your money or belongings. Identity theft for personal gain could be somebody using your personal information in order to get a job. They might do this because they are unable to obtain a job with their own identity due to a criminal record or a bad credit history. It could be that they are not a citizen and unable to legally obtain employment. Your identity could be used to rent an apartment or to lease a car or furniture. This can be damaging to you because when they default on the lease agreement, and they will default on the agreement, it will go on your credit report. You may not even realize that somebody has done this until later when you are turned down for credit. What is identity theft for personal gain? It is when somebody gains non-monetarily from your identity.


 
What is identity theft for financial gain?

What is identity theft for financial gain? This is when somebody uses your personal information to obtain a loan or credit cards. Then they will take the money and run, leaving you responsible for paying. The thing is that you won’t know that you have this bill until later when you start to receive calls from the bill collectors and by then the thief is long gone. Your identity can also be used to open bank accounts in order to use them for fraudulent activity. This can be especially damaging because it makes you look like a criminal. Credit card fraud is also a form of identity theft for financial gain. This is when somebody gains access to your credit card information and uses your credit cards without your knowledge or permission.

If you find yourself asking, “What is identity theft?” then it is time to get some answers and learn to protect yourself against it. Watch your statements closely each month for unauthorized activity and check your credit report at least a few times each year. Don’t wait for somebody to call you and tell you that your identity has been stolen. By then it is too late.

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