What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is such a huge issue in today's society that I felt the need to pass along a way to protect yourself. However it has occurred to me that a little more information may be necessary to properly express the dangers of identity theft.

To that end I will start with a commonly accepted definition:

Identity Theft:  A form of fraud which involves one person assuming the identity of another person for the purpose of obtaining and using personal information and credit.

That is a basic definition. Of course it becomes much more specific.

What the thief is hoping to get from a stolen identity:
  • Financial information. This is the first thing that comes to mind. If someone is able to obtain your personal information then they may be able to access your financial information. With this they can obtain access to your bank accounts, credit cards, investments, etc.
  • Medical information. If the thief is in need of medical care or drugs and is able to impersonate you then you would be liable for any expenses the thief charges to you.
  • Identity. A thief may choose to impersonate you in their everyday life. Perhaps the thief is a criminal or hiding they may not want their true identity know.
  • Criminal. A thief may try to impersonate another person if they are caught in a crime.
  • Child. Thieves often target young children when they are looking for a new identity since children often have no information associated with them making it easier for the thief to assume that identity.
 Identity theft is a huge problem. As a victim you may be held responsible for the actions of the thief. Needless to say this could have dire consequences for you.

Hopefully, this gives you a bit better idea the forms identity theft can take. This is by no means a complete or detailed report. I simply wanted to bring to your attention some of the forms and the seriousness of identity theft.

It is important to understand what identity theft is and the seriousness of it so that you can protect yourself. As a young person just getting active in the financial world you need to be especially vigilant.

If you want a good ebook with an action plan you can easily follow then have a look at this one: Identity Theft Deterrent