There isn’t another you. However, there are plenty of crooks who are looking to be you and steal your identity for their financial gain. Some of them are good enough to do it if you aren’t vigilant about identity theft protection.
Identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime in America. Someone obtains your Social Security number, date of birth and your mother’s maiden name and, without you knowing it, they’ve borrowed money, ordered merchandise or stolen money from your bank account.
It’s important that you know the signs of identity theft and learn tips to protect your identity.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves crimes against individuals where personal and financial data is illegally obtained by fraud or deception, usually for financial gain.
Identity theft is a federal crime, and, according to the Federal Trade Commission, it commonly comes in the form of credit card fraud, employment or tax-related fraud, phone or utility fraud and bank.
What can identity thieves do to you? They can:
- Apply for credit cards or loans in your name
- Withdraw funds from your bank account
- Use your health insurance to obtain medical care
- Use your Social Security number to steal your tax refund
- Sell your information on the dark web to other criminals
In addition to the direct financial loss you may suffer, you also may have to spend time and money proving that someone else did these things and get your good financial name back. It’s like being victimized twice.