There are many types of identity theft today. These classifications are based on the methods the criminals use as well as the results of their actions. These include criminal, financial, cloning, child, synthetic and medical. These are described in detail below:
Criminal identity theft
Criminal identity theft sometimes occurs when a person fraudulently identifies themselves as someone else to police at time of their arrest. The criminal may have been able to obtain an official drivers license or other identifying document that has been stolen to back their claim. They may also provide police with a fake ID. If the documentation is accepted the charges may be put on a person’s name and the criminal may get off the hook only to start all over with another ID. The victim may only learn about the problem by chance such as through a background check by a potential employer, being stopped for a minor traffic violation or by receiving a summons from a court. This is showing up in identity theft stories quite frequently.
Clearing ones record may be very difficult in the case of criminal identity theft. The victim will have to go through many hoops to clear their record. It makes a difference where the offense took place as well as if the actual identity of the person who committed the crime has been determined. They may have to contact the arresting officers , provide fingerprints or even DNA. It may take a court hearing and expungement of the court records to clear the up the situation. There may still be a record maintained of the victims name as an alias for the criminal’s name in the authorities database. Since there are numerous databases involved the victim of criminal identity theft may have problems for some time even after the original records are cleared up. Therefor a future background check may return the criminal record.
Financial identity theft
According to identity theft statistics, Financial identity theft, such as credit fraud, is one of the most common types and happens every day. It can have a significant negative effect on your credit score and financial well-being for many years to come. This type of identity theft occurs when an individual uses another’s name, address, social security number or other identifying information to obtain credit or other financial gains.
The stolen information can include the victims name, Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal financial data. Among thieves it is the most popular type of identity theft today and it impacts millions of Americans every year.
After a thief has access to someones information, they have the ability to counterfeit checks or ATM cards. They can wipe out bank accounts, open utilities and/or cell phone accounts in the victim’s name. They will use the info to apply for car loans, mortgages, or make purchase using their credit cards and lines of credit. Criminals have filed for bankruptcy in their victims name along with countless other activities. All of this has the potential to result in huge debts and ruined credit.
Under some state and federal laws, credit and some debit card fraud victims are only liable for the first $50 of their losses, and typically most financial institutions will waive this amount. The harm to victims, however, can be significant and long lasting. Victims are usually left with bad credit and a damaged reputation. Currently, victims must work to resolve these problems on their own as there is no single government source of identity theft victim assistance.
One of the worst types of identity theft is identity cloning or concealment. In this case the identity thief impersonates someone else in order to conceal their own true identity. The identity theif may be an illegal immigrant, someone hiding from creditors or other individuals, or those who simply want to become “anonymous” for other reasons. Unlike identity theft used to obtain credit which usually comes to light when the debts mount, concealment may continue indefinitely without being detected, particularly if the identity thief is able to obtain false credentials in order to pass various authentication tests in everyday life.
The identity cloners will obtain as much information as possible about the victim. They will want to know all of a persons history, place of birth, town you grew up in, schooling, personal relationships. The will also want to acquire your social security number, addresses you have lived at even info about your parents.
They need this information in order to become you. Everything this person does is in your name. They will procure false documents in your name, birth certificate, social security card so they can get a drivers license. The will apply for passports and credit cards in the victims name. If they are questioned they know so much about you they can easily pass as you by answering correctly.
This type if identity theft is usually discovered when someone notices that the persons credit report shows two addresses. Huge financial losses can mount due to those costs incurred by the identity thief as well as investigative and legal costs for the victim to clear up their identity.
Child Identity Theft
Children’s social security numbers are coveted by identity thieves as they are a clean slate. The thief can use this information to get a drivers license, set up credit cards and accounts, even purchase homes. Since the child will not use their social security number until they are older, the theft can go undetected for a long time. This can cause serious consequences.
It may later in life affect the child’s credit or employment history. The thieves may be arrested for other crimes and this will go on the child’s records. Many times the thief is someone known to the the child, such as a relative or family friend.
Security experts say you should check your children’s credit report every your in order to protect them for the future. You can also put a block on their reports to make it harder for thieves to gain access to their information or obtain credit.
Synthetic identity theft
Synthetic identity theft is a type of ID fraud in which thieves create new identities by combining real and fake identifying information to establish new accounts with fictional identities or create the new identity from totally fake information. In typical synthetic fraud, a fraudster uses a real Social Security number and combines it with a name other than the one associated with that number.
This type of identity theft is more difficult to detect as it doesn’t directly show on either person’s credit report. It may appear as an entirely new record in the credit bureaus or as a subfile on one of the victim’s credit reports. Synthetic identity theft primarily harms the creditors who unwittingly grant the fraudsters credit. Individual victims can be affected if their names become confused with the synthetic identities, or if negative information in their subfiles impacts their credit ratings.
Medical identity theft
An Identity thief may use a persons name or other parts or their identity, such as insurance information to obtain medical treatment, prescriptions or surgeries. Medical identity theft can result in incorrect information being placed in medical record, this could potentially lead to life threatening decisions by medical personnel.
You may discover your personal, health, or health insurance information has been compromised when you receive a bill for medical services you did not get. A debt collector may contact you regarding an unpaid medical bill. Your health plan may tell you that you have reached your limit on benefits or you may be denied insurance because there is a condition on your medical records that you do not have.
Medical identity theft may change your medical and health insurance records: Every time a thief uses your identity to get care, a record is created with the impostor’s medical information that could be mistaken for your medical information – say, a different blood type, an inaccurate history of drug or alcohol abuse, test results that aren’t yours, or a diagnosis of an illness, allergy or condition you don’t have. Any of these could lead to improper treatment, which in turn, could lead to injury, illness or worse.
Guard your health insurance, Medicare and Social Security numbers carefully. Treat them like you would treat your credit cards or any other personal infuriation. Be suspicious of anyone who offers you free medical equipment or services and then requests your Medicare number. If it’s free, why do they need your number! Do not let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare ID card or your identity.
As you can see you have to be alert for many different forms of this identity theft. Please keep all of these types of identity theft in mind, you never know when someone may be trying to take advantage of your personal information. While there are systems in place to try and prevent the problem, they do not catch all attempts. You are your first line of identity theft defense.
At identitytheftstories.net we look to these sites and others for further information about identity theft related issues and solutions. We hope that you will find them useful as well.
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