What Is Identity Theft?

Understanding the Risk

We live in a world that continues to rapidly evolve into a more complex digital environment. As the daily activities such as shopping, banking, and dining are transformed into the digital age, it is the driving force creating our digital footprint whenever we enter the cyber world.  Each time we use our bank card or credit card, or we input any of our personal identifiers such as name, date of birth, and social security number into an online or mobile source, it creates a risk of identity theft.

What Exactly Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft happens when someone gains unauthorized access to personal information and uses it to commit fraud or other crimes.   Criminals use your personal information to obtain new credit to obtain items they do not intend to pay for because it is not in their name, the credit and the bill would belong to you.  If that bill you are unaware of is not paid, that will damage your credit score.

Possibility of Additional Crimes

Obtaining illegal credit is not the only crime that can be committed when someone steals your identity.  Your stolen identity may give the criminal access to commit fraud in other areas such as gaining access to government assistance, health insurance benefits, opening a utility account, or even get a cell phone under your name.  Even if the criminal doesn’t get all of your personal identifiers, maybe they only get your credit card number, they could still use your credit card to purchase items.