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Identity Theft

Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is the criminal process whereby the personal identifiable information of an individual; his victim, are obtained through fraudulent means by an imposter to impersonate the individual.

The details garnered are used by the imposter to obtain credit loans, buy items off the internet in the individual’s name or the imposter uses it as a means of identification with the security agencies. This leads to several warrants of arrest issued unknown to the unsuspecting individual whose personal information has been stolen.

Identity fraud is also known as identity theft.

Types of identity fraud

There are two ways through which identity fraud is carried out. They are:

  • True name theft
  • Account Takeover.

In the case of true name theft, the imposter makes use of the stolen personal information of his victim to generate new cellular phone services, open various new check accounts through which he can get blank checks or opens a new credit card account.

With Account takeover, the fraudster uses the stolen information of his victim to make use of the existing bank accounts of his victim for his expenses. All it takes in this age of the internet is for the fraudster to change the address through which the victim’s bank send emails about bank transactions done. This type of fraud is made all the easier as transactions can be done without coming in personal contact with banking staff.

Examples of identity fraud

Examples of identity fraud include the following:

  • Tax identity fraud
  • Medical identity fraud
  • Child identity theft and;
  • Senior citizens identity theft.
  1. Tax identity fraud happens when the fraudster files false tax returns at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as his while using the information he stole off his unsuspecting victim.
  2. Medical identity fraud is where the fraudster uses his victim’s health insurance number to get access to medical services. The fee paid to get these medical services is debited to the account name of his victim.
  3. Child identity theft is most sought after by criminals. They make use of a child’s social security number to obtain special government grants, open new bank accounts and as a means of identification.
  4. Senior citizens identify theft is done often without the senior citizen being aware. This is because the senior citizen submits personal information to various pension and health agencies as he or she nears the retirement age. A fraudster hacks into the database of these agencies and can obtain personal information submitted by these class of citizens for his personal use.