Guide 2 Identity Theft - How To Protect Yourself

   
Guide 2 Identity Theft

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 What is Identity Theft
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Guide 2 Identity Theft   >   Types of Identity Theft

Types of Identity Theft


There are four main types of identity theft:
  1. Financial:

    Various types of financial fraud are the most common types of identity theft. This types of fraud include:

    • A thief may use your stolen credit card details to buy things. Of course, we all know about and try to guard against this - but, nevertheless, it still happens.
    • Your telephone bills could soar if a thief is able to use your telephone calling card or otherwise get access your telephone account.
    • Some identity thieves criminal are even bolder. They may take out debts in your name, obtain a new credit card, sign up for a telephone or electricity account, lease a car, or even take out an apartment lease.
    • You could even find somebody else has taken out a mortgage on your own home, and vanished with the money. It is not unknown for a person to find their home or other property has been put on the market, and even sold by an identity thief, although this is a more difficult deception for a thief to pull off.

  2. Criminal:

    Some criminals prepare for the risk of being caught by the authorities by having somebody else's identity ready:

    • The most common example is in traffic violations. The thief carries a false driver's license in your name, bearing their photograph, just in case they get caught. The first that you know about it, is when you get the citation for not responding to a traffic charge.
    • Access to drinking establishments when under the minimum legal age is another common example.
    • Another example is using your stolen or a duplicate license plate to steal fuel in "drive offs" from service stations. It is your number plate that appears on the security cameras. Similarly, the stolen/duplicate plate may also appear on speed/traffic cameras.
    • Filing a fraudulent tax return under another person's name is also a common form of identity theft, perhaps to preserve an income tested state benefit the thief receives.
    • The possibilities of how criminals could use your identity to cover up their crimes can get more serious still. They could commit more serious crimes, and use papers identifying themselves as you, to avoid the consequences.

  3. Cloning:

    Occasionally criminals will take on somebody else's identity to get a passport or driver's licence, or to access data, when they have their normal channels blocked. They may even steal an identity to start a totally new life, perhaps if they are wanted persons. Illegal immigrants, criminals, bankrupts and even abuse victims may use this approach to start a new life, as you. Their purpose may not be to hide behind your identity to commit a crime, but simply to conceal their true identity behind the respectable facade of your identity.

    If this happens to you, although you may not incur financial or other losses, but you would still have the unnerving experience of having your reputation merged with that of a "clone". The worst part is that you may notice nothing until, for example, your good credit record is unaccountably damaged.

  4. Commercial:

    Businesses can also find themselves embroiled in identity theft problems. For example:

    • A tenant may sell off the landlord's furniture, pretending to be the owner
    • A person may gain access to premises or data by falsely using an authorized person's identity
    • A company could have to deal with purchasers or creditors waving contracts signed by an identity thief who falsely claimed to have represented the company when entering into a large transaction (and of course has since vanished with the proceeds of the crime)
With so many ways for criminals and unscrupulous people to profitably steal your identity, the time to start taking precautions is now.

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