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What is Identity Theft or ID Theft?

Identity theft, which is also know as ID theft, is when someone obtains and/or uses your personal identifying information illegally or to commit a fraud or theft, for example when an identity thief uses your personal information to illegally open a credit card account in your name, using your personal identifying information, but without your permission.

Identity Theft is also when your personal information is used to:

  • Change the address of your credit accounts to divert your credit card or bank statements to their address
  • Open new credit or bank accounts in your name
  • Get a cell phone or makes other credit purchases in your name
  • Go to the doctor as you and incur charges for services in your name
  • Obtain and write bad checks in your name
  • Seek and obtain employment in your name

ID Theft is normally used in a financial transaction where the thief gains some financial advantage from posing as you. Either they incur bills they do not expect to pay, or they try to get control over your financial assets like your bank account.

However, identity theft may also occur for some relatively non-financial reasons like when they use you identity to apply for employment, or even to impersonate you when their real idenity needs to be hidden.

Computer hacking is another form of id theft in the news where hackers tunnel illegal into computer databases to get your personal information either off some companies computer or off their web servers. This form of identity theft sometime makes no sense, as if the crime is committed just to show they can do it. However, more often than not, this type of hacking is for some financial purpose where the hackers are after money.

Unfortunately, identity theft is a crime that is generally rising, and you can almost count on that id thieves will find new ways to obtain your personal information, and they will use the information in a way that will cost companies many thousands of dollars and cost individuals countless hours of agony trying to repair the damages of their id theft escapades.