Identity theft

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Identity Theft

A crime in which a person pretends to be another person for the purpose of using his/her financial information for personal gain. Identity theft can be fairly basic; for example, one may steal and use a credit card. Often, however, identity theft involves using computer programs to find a person's financial information and conduct large transactions with that person's money. Identity theft is a serious crime, as it can ruin the victim's credit, making it difficult to obtain a loan when one is needed. Many banks and credit card companies provide identity theft protection to reduce a client's liability for identity theft and to minimize its occurrence.

Identity theft.

Identity theft is the unauthorized use of your personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, or credit account information.

People usually steal your identity to make purchases or obtain credit, though they may also use the data to apply for a driver's license or other form of official identification.

References in periodicals archive ?
While identity thieves steal information from sources outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first to inform a victim that identity theft has occurred.
Sometimes identity thieves will file a change of address with the Postal Service so that any bills or documents for their fraudulent accounts don't make it to you.
Identity thieves like to impersonate customer service representatives and ask to verify your birthday, Social Security number, or other personal data.
Identity thieves employ tactics such as looking over your shoulder when you're filling out an application form in a shop, watching as you enter your PIN.
Certain industries face greater threats due to the resalable nature of their products, like electronics, computers, technology and even food and so forth, but identity thieves find small businesses just as profitable as large ones.
Likewise, Adam Levin, Identity Theft 911 chairman and co-founder, says identity thieves are specifically targeting several categories, including the deceased.
Not only are preapproved offers annoying, they also present an easy opportunity for identity thieves. Opt out of preapproved offers of credit at www.optoutprescreen.com.
USED computer hard drives are being searched by identity thieves and industrial spies, an international study has concluded.
The identity thieves have pocketed at pounds 500,000 from the sophisticated scam - which they converted into untraceable gold bullion.
"When even the federal government has trouble maintaining the security of our personal data, it is time to take action to protect ourselves, our members and their customers from hackers and identity thieves," said FMI president and c.e.o.
"Identity thieves steal consumers' time, money and security just as sure as they steal their identifying information, and they cost businesses enormous sums," said Majoras.
To coincide with Valentine's Day, Internet security developer Webroot Software cautioned users to protect themselves and their families against dangerous Internet threats and identity thieves when looking for love online.