Identity fraud and identity theft are common occurrences these days. They happen when someone obtains and uses someone else’s personal data in a fraudulent or deceitful manner for economic gain or other reasons. The problem is becoming even more prevalent because of misinformation online and the lack of response from appropriate agencies to fix it.
The categories of identity theft include:
- Account takeover fraud
- Business or commercial identity theft
- Criminal identity theft
- Identity cloning
- Medical identity theft
- New account fraud
For this write-up, we will focus on just the 3 most common types of identity theft because each type above has numerous subtypes and may need an entire book to cover everything. It is important to spread awareness about the common types of identity theft because not only can they result in financial loss, some examples can really destroy lives for the long-term.
Account Takeover Fraud
The most common account takeover fraud is financial identity theft wherein the criminal uses another person’s account information such as bank account details to obtain services and products. It can also mean withdrawing money from a person’s bank account. Oftentimes, perpetrators get the data from online sources such as by phishing or can be offline sources such as lifted from purses or wallets, the mail, the phone, or even by going through the trash. Most of the time, the victim is the first person to notice discrepancies such as additional charges on a credit card, unauthorized withdrawals on a bank account, or having a few bounced checks. Oftentimes, perpetrators pose as the victim to pull off this type of identity theft.
Business or Commercial Identity Theft
Using another person’s name or business details to get products and services fall under business identity theft or commercial identity theft. The usual way this is done is by using a company’s or an individual’s social security number. Some numbers that are readily available in dumpsters, public records, and the like may also be used to commit this type of identity theft. In a lot of cases, business identity theft is an inside job or committed by ex-employees or current staff. Most victims of business identity only became aware of the crime after significant losses or until when someone notices discrepancies in the records. The reason why businesses can often lose large amounts of money to this type of identity theft is because this can go on for years without anyone noticing.
New Account Fraud
New account fraud is when someone else uses another person’s details and good credit standing to create a new fake account to obtain products and services. This can be done by creating a new cell phone, new credit card, or new utility bill account using the stolen details of another person. The thief will use another mailing address so the real person behind the stolen identity will not know about the fraud until much later when there’s already been a lot of debt under their name or SSN or when they get turned down from credit application because of bad debts that they know nothing about.
Were you a victim of identity fraud? Do you know that private investigators can help you uncover the people behind it as well as check for possible breaches in your privacy to prevent it from occurring again? Contact us at Haywood Hunt to know more about identity fraud prevention and what actions you can take against it!