HOW MAY YOUR IDENTITY BE STOLEN? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.

In order to protect themselves, Pennsylvania consumers should know how fraudsters use Social Security numbers to commit identity theft.According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the number one consumer complaint is in relation to identity theft and identity fraud. Learning the types of identity theft and fraud can help you know where theft and fraud may occur, and help you protect your assets and your identity.  While online identity theft occurs more frequently now, identity theft can still happen the “old-fashioned” way through simple stealing. The following are the most common areas and ways identity theft and identity fraud occur.

 

1.Mail Identity Theft. This is one of the oldest ways for a thief to steal someone’s identity. Simply taking personal or financial information from mail found in mailboxes can allow someone to not only take money from existing accounts but also open new ones up in your name as well.

 

2.Social Security Number Theft. Tax ID breaches or data breaches happen often, and during these breaches, your social security number can be compromised and used to steal your identity.

 

3.Child Identity Theft. 25% of all children will have a portion of their identity stolen before they turn 18, due to a stolen social security number. These numbers are used to fraudulently establish credit cards, apply for loans, attempt to receive government benefits and more.

 

4.Tax Identity Theft. If someone steals your social security number, and your personal information, they may attempt to file taxes before you. They will file taxes in your name, for a larger return than you are legally owed, and have the check sent to their address instead.

 

5.Driver’s License Identity Theft. Driver’s license identity theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft. With a stolen driver’s license, someone can use this information to obtain other forms of identification, as well as open accounts.

 

6.Synthetic Identity Theft. This is considered the fastest-growing type of identity theft in the United States. A fraudster will merge both accurate and fake personal information to create a new identity that can then be sold on the dark web.

 

7.Debit Card Fraud or Credit Card Fraud.  Anytime your debit card or credit card is used to make an unauthorized purchase, this is likely fraud. These types of fraud can occur even without having access to a physical credit card or debit card, by using personally identifiable information such as the account number, PIN, and security code.

 

8.Account Takeover Identity Theft.  With sophisticated technology, a fraudster could gain access to your credit card, debit card, or bank account through a malware attack, data breach, or phishing scam.

 

10.Senior Identity Theft. Scams involving seniors seem to be always present, as our elderly population typically does not check their financial accounts as frequently. Almost 20% of seniors have reported some form of identity theft or identity fraud. Unfortunately, these situations often occur due to the senior forming a relationship without someone and misplacing their trust in someone who would eventually prey upon them and steal their money or identity.

 

11.Internet of Things Identity Theft. While this may have a strange-sounding name, the Internet of Things (IoT) identity fraud or theft occurs when someone’s electronic device, such as a tablet or smartphone is pair with any other product such as a car or household appliance, which creates an opportunity for a hacker to steal data. The security flaws in the connection between these two devices may only weakly protect personal data.

This list of types of identity theft and identity fraud is not exhaustive. Other types of fraud include employment identity theft, automobile lending fraud, mortgage fraud, medical identity theft, and biometric identity theft. With new technology comes more opportunities for fraudsters to attempt to find new types of identity theft and identity fraud. Learning these identity theft examples can help you learn how to prevent identity theft and identity fraud better by discovering what types of identity theft are the most common.

If your identity has been stolen or there are items on your credit report that do not belong to you, contact me, Attorney Gary Nitzkin at Credit Repair Lawyers of America for a free, no obligation consultation.  You can reach me at (248) 353-2882 or email me at gary@crlam.com.  You can also visit us at www.CreditRepairLawyersAM.com.