What Is Identity Theft | Legal Rights Advice Now

What Is Identity Theft |  Legal Rights Advice Now

Identity Theft. What do you think about when you see those two words? Possibly it makes chills go down your spine if you have been a victim, or know someone else who has been. Possibly you have heard the phrase, but don’t really know what it is. Maybe both of the above apply, or maybe neither apply. This article is for anyone who wants to know what identity theft really is and what types of identity theft there are. There are many different types of identity theft to learn about and from which to protect yourself.

First of all, what really IS identity theft? Simply put, it’s when someone gets your personal information and tries to pretend to be you for their personal gain. It is when someone tries to pretend to be you in some circumstance for some reason. It is a crime that is everywhere and continues to be on the rise. You can’t guarantee that your personal information is safe. There is always the potential of someone watching long enough and being savvy enough to get your personal information. Without getting too much into it, people steal others’ identities because there is something they want that they can’t get with their own identities.

I don’t know if you realized that there are five main types of identity theft. The first identity theft that people often think about is financial. This can include: credit card, child support, government benefits and charity, just to name a few. This type of identity theft is all about getting money, in whatever form the thieves can get. A common way to get this information of late is either e-mails or phone calls phishing for your personal information. Chances are, the credit card companies and banks/credit unions with which you have accounts won’t need to send an e-mail or phone call to get your personal information again. These are definitely easy ways to protect yourself. If in doubt, don’t give out any information until you speak directly with the financial institutions with which you have accounts. However, this form of identity theft only makes up less than 18% of all of the identity thefts in the world today.

What do you mean? There’s more? Yes, in fact, one of the identity theft crimes on the rise today is medical identity theft. Some thieves like to take others’ medical records to use as their own. They might do this because their own personal records are lacking and they need a medical identity with better health than their own. They also might want to hurt another by giving the wrong information so others will suffer. Whatever the reason, medical identity theft is rising as a form of identity theft in the nation.

Another form of identity theft is Social Security identity theft. There are many people who are immigrating from other countries into this country that don’t have their own social security number of their own, so they like to steal ours. Many places in the nation, you can’t even get a job or an apartment without a social security number. Think about all that you use your social security number for. What could you do without it? What can you NOT do without it? It’s a pretty important set of numbers that identify you in a way you couldn’t otherwise be identified.

However, maybe you don’t want to be identified if you’re a criminal. Criminals are looking for other peoples’ identities, since they’ve messed up their own. They’re looking for ways to pin the blame on someone else, and what a better person than a hard-working taxpayer, a good person like you. If you get a knock on the door in the middle of the night with a warrant for your arrest or a demand to take your children away, wouldn’t you like to have a defense- someone to go to? How could you prove that you aren’t the criminal the police may think you are? What a challenging situation in which you don’t want to be involved.

Another challenging situation in which you might find yourself is having your driver’s license stolen. What another important piece of identity THAT is. If someone stole that, what kind of damage could they do? Again, you might use your driver’s license for a job or a place to live. You might use it to identify you in other circumstances. You might even have to go to court for some tickets you didn’t earn. How devastating and humiliating THAT would be. Court is not a popular place to hang out for most people. It’s probably some place you avoid at all costs, right? The courthouse is generally a stressful place for all involved.

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