Types of Identity Theft

Types of Identity TheftThere are different types of identity theft. Although this site focuses on Financial Identity Theft, here is a short review of other identity theft categories.

Financial identity theft
Financial identity theft is defined as using another person’s identity in order to obtain credit, goods and services. The criminal uses another person’s SSN for loans and credit card applications. The loans are never paid back, and the credit cards are maxed and then defaulted. Victims of financial identity theft usually discover they’ve been victimized when their applications are unexpectedly turned down, or when checking their credit reports.

Child identity theft
A variation of financial identity theft, in which a child’s identity (usually the child’s SSN) is used by a criminal to obtain lines of credit, car loans, personal loans and even mortgages.

Minor’s Social Security Numbers are valued amongst identity thieves because they still have no information attached to them. This fraud can go undetected for years, as most children don’t discover the problem until many years later.

This type of fraud is fairly common, and on the rise.






Criminal identity theft
Criminal identity theft occurs when a criminal is posing as another person when apprehended for a crime, in an attempt to walk away clean while charges are placed against an innocent victim.

Usually these criminals obtain in advance stolen or forged documents, which they use when arrested. The victims of these identity thefts usually learn about it when they receive a court summon, or when they discover that their driver’s license is suspended.

Criminal identity theft is difficult to recover from.

Medical identity theft
Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s name or other parts of their identity (e.g. insurance policy details) without that person’s consent to obtain medical services or goods.

Medical identity theft frequently results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, which may in turn lead to inappropriate and potentially life-threatening decisions by medical staff.

Identity Cloning
In this situation, the identity thief impersonates as someone else in order to conceal his/hers own true identity. It’s fairly common amongst illegal immigrants and people hiding from creditors. Such fraud can remain undetected indefinitely, particularly if the identity thief is able to obtain false credentials in order to pass various authentication tests in everyday life.

Synthetic Identity Cloning
This is a variation of identity cloning, in which the imposter invents a new identity rather than posing as an existing identity. The most common technique involves combining a real SSN with a name and birthrate other than the ones associated with the number.

Synthetic identity theft is more difficult to track because it doesn’t show on any real person’s credit file, so no one complains or initiate an investigation.


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