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3 Types of Identity Theft

19 January 2017

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes across the world. The evolution of technology, prevalence of online financial transactions, and the digitalization of personal documents all make it easier for people to remotely access private information of individuals around the globe.

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Once you get victimized by this particular crime, your financial situation, relationships, safety, and reputation could all be on the line.  

What are the Three Types of Identity Theft?

It is extremely necessary that people educate themselves about the different kinds of identity theft. Understanding the various forms of identity theft is the first step to defeating this particular crime.

To help you have a deeper understanding on this issue, here are the basics about the three most prevalent types of identity theft.

  • Character or ID Theft

Character or ID theft is a kind of identity theft where criminals assume the identity of a person in order to take part in various kinds of transactions. In character theft, criminals can get credit cards, loans, and even break the law using your name.

Usually, the perpetrators of character theft target children. They steal information from relatives and school data. They use these to operationalize their crimes. They choose children as their victims because children do not usually check their financial information and credit scores until they grow up. They would only know that they have been victims of identity theft once they get denied for their first credit card, loan, or housing because of a bad credit history.

To prevent this from happening, parents should always check their children’s credit scores routinely and dispute against unauthorized transactions.

  • Credit Theft

Credit theft is the most common type of identity theft. This happens when people get a hold of your credit card or credit card information, whether through fraudulent online attacks or literal theft. In credit theft, people usually go on shopping sprees to purchase items until your credit limit has been reached.

To avoid credit theft, report that your credit card has been stolen to your bank as soon as the theft has been committed. It would also be smart to only provide your credit card information to trusted entities such as PayPal. Moreover, always be vigilant on spotting phishing attempts.

Finally, always monitor your bank and credit card statements. Know if there has been unauthorized purchases under your name.

  • Social Security Number Theft

Perhaps one of the most serious crimes when it comes to identity theft is the Social Security Number theft. In this kind of identity theft, individuals can open financial accounts under your name, use your information to get health insurance, file for a fraudulent tax refund, steal your benefits, and commit crimes under your name.

If you think that someone has been using your number, you should report the problem to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.

Protect Yourself against Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime. If left unchecked, it could destroy your financial reputation, credit rating, pristine criminal record, and even prevent you from accessing healthcare. To protect yourself from identity theft, always monitor your accounts. Be careful on where you provide your information online. If you think that you have been victimized by identity theft, always lean on the side of caution and seek legal advice from trusted attorneys in your area.

If you have been accused of Identity Theft in State or Federal Court and you need to speak to a lawyer about your situation, call us at 305-204-5000. 

Chad Piotrowski - post author

Chad Piotrowski is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida. He is a former Miami-Dade Prosecutor and has practiced criminal law, exclusively, for more than 10 years.

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