Financial Identity Theft
occurs when an imposter gains access to personal identifying information (PII) and uses it for personal gain. This could include: unauthorized use of someone's credit card; new lines of credit, loans, and mortgages; new accounts, account takeover, or checking/debit fraud; and tenancy and/or utilities.
Governmental Identity Theft
could be defined as when a thief uses another person's PII to obtain employment, governmental services, benefits, or IRS refunds, to name just a few. This type of identity theft has a significant and far reaching impact on its victims. For instance, the victim finds out when their tax return is held by the state or a court orders wages withheld from the victim.
Criminal Identity Theft
occurs when the thief provides someone else's PII to avoid law enforcement scrutiny and/or criminal arrest, or child support. Perpetrators often use a false identity because they could not pass a required background check and they may use false identities to avoid escalation of charges due to previous probation or parole.
Medical Identity Theft
occurs when a person uses someone else's PII without legal authority or victim's consent, to obtain medical services or goods, or to make false claims for medical services or goods. Medical identity theft frequently results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, and can involve the creation of fictitious medical records in the victim's name.
Corporate Identity Theft
is the unauthorized collection, transfer, replication, or manipulation of a business's identifying information for the purpose of committing fraud or other crimes (ANSI).
A new term being used is "assumption." Assumption is defined as when the imposter, or criminal, is using the victim's identity for multiple purposes such as employment, medical and financial identity theft. Essentially, this person has "assumed" the victim's entire public identity.
COMMON WAYS Identity THEFT HAPPENS:
Identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Hacking. They hack into databases or steal business records to get customer PII.
- "Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.
Source: Federal Trade Commission