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 ?
Why, despite increases in identity theft, are law enforcement, the
One way to cut down on identity theft would be to require commercial credit-reporting bureaus to offer services like this to all their consumers for free.
The most common types of fraud associated with identity theft are opening new credit card accounts and taking over existing ones.
For example, searching monthly statements for unauthorized charges and destroying credit card applications are two primary ways to avoid identity theft.
The OIG will continue in its efforts to combat identity theft by conducting investigations involving individuals who steal personal information to commit fraud within federal student aid programs.
A common misconception is that identity theft is limited to retail and consumer based sectors.
Calling identity theft the "All-American crime of the Information Age," study designer Alan Westin, professor emeritus of Public Law and Government at Columbia University, noted that the crime is spread broadly throughout the American community, striking people of all ages, income levels, and races.
Up to 700,000 people were the victims of identity theft last year, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Such stories are common to law enforcement authorities, who, almost daily, receive calls and complaints pertaining to identity theft across the country.

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