People are more likely to stand a better chance at safeguarding themselves against identity theft and recover from the financial losses of said crime, if only they know the legal issues concerning id theft. Based from this argument, you can deduce that you should comprehend fully the legal issues surrounding identity theft.
How does Identity Theft Happen
Identity theft is initiated when an identity thief gets hold of a few pieces of your private information and uses it to assume your identity will be access more information about you. For instance, an identity thief who gets hold of your name and address will be able to apply for a fake driver’s license and once he or she has this, the criminal can use it to open new bank accounts under your name and apply for an ATM or credit card. On the other hand, if the thief has your social security number, then he or she can access your other confidential information like credit history.
The identity thief then use the information that he or she has taken from you to build a new identity and a new life using your name by:
1. Renting his or her own apartment based from your good credit standing
2. Applying for a new credit card
3. Getting a new phone number and other utility bills
4. Filing for medical claims and insurance
5. Apply for jobs using your social security number and file for tax refunds
Consequences of Identity Theft
Most victims lately realize that they’ve been victims of identity theft until their identity has been stolen, their credits ran up, they are denied of insurance or medical claims or worst, get arrested for crimes that they did not commit. This may sound unnerving and impossible but this is something that is happening nowadays.
When another person has your identity, they can use it to commit other types of fraud including:
Loan fraud – loans can be taken out under your name and the criminal will not be financially liable for it, thus your bank will hold you responsible for the repayment of the loan
Credit card fraud – identity theft criminals can make purchases and cash advances using the credit card that they applied using your name and they will have your mail intercepted so that you will never learn about the charges that were made in your credit card statement
Bank fraud – using your identity, identity thieves can open checking accounts and you will be, again, responsible for the checks that will be written
Employment fraud – most employers do a background check on their potential employees’ credit history and police record. When you have a clean slate, the identity theft criminal can use these to get a job. This often happens with illegal immigrants who need good paying jobs where they migrated.
Insurance fraud – id theft criminals also target medical records so that they can file insurance claims and other medical benefits.
More often than not, victims do not immediately realize that they’ve been victims of identity theft until everything is too late.