What is Identity theft?

Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else's identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person's name, and perhaps to the other person's disadvantage or loss.

 

Types of Identity theft

Criminal ID theft occurs when someone is being arrested and they give your name to the cops instead of theirs.  This could have lasting effects on your life in very negative ways. It will be your job to clear your name if you don't have protection. 

Medical ID theft is when someone uses your information to rack up medical bills in your name.  This could leave you wondering why you are being denied benefits from your health insurance or even unable to get access to medical services you may need.

Tax Id theft allows a thief to file and even receive your taxes.  By using your SSN or other identifying means a person could file your taxes before you and then you will be left to deal with the IRS to clear up the issue.  

Child ID theft is also a major problem with most victims not finding out about it until years later.  Most children have no reason to check their credit so they are a easy prey for determined identity thieves.

 

Who is affected?

Everyone can be affected by Identity theft.  Some of the most targeted are children and the elderly due to them not being fully aware of the risks at stake.  Regardless of age or any other factor you are still at risk of having your identity stolen which is why it is so important to protect yourself.

 

How does it happen?

Identity theft occurs when an unauthorized party uses your personally identifying information, such as your name, address, Social Security Number (SSN), credit card or bank account information to assume your identity in order to commit fraud or other criminal acts.  They can get this information from a number of ways including: Data breaches, Loosing your wallet, phishing emails, unsafe internet usage and even from stealing your mail or dumpster diving.  Always shred unwanted mail and documents that have any identifying information. 

 

What do Identity thieves do with your info? 

They can max your credit cards, get loans in your name, access your banking accounts, use it to commit criminal or medical id theft.  They can also file a tax return in your name and get your refund.  There is no way to stop identity theft from happening but you can make it a whole lot easier on yourself by having protection.  Every day new data breaches occur from companies who we trust to protect our information.  Don't rely on those companies anymore, rely on FamilyIDPro!