The Different Types of Identity Theft

Everyone has heard of identity theft, and most likely, the type of identity theft they think of is financial identity theft. However, there are many types of identity theft, and these can all cause a lot of problems for the person whose identity has been stolen. So, we are going to discuss some different types of identity theft and how they can affect you.

Financial Identity Theft

This is probably the first type of identity theft people think of. It’s very common, and in a number of cases, is quickly noticeable, such as when a person uses your bank card to make an unauthorized purchase. Someone may also use your information to open a credit account or take a loan out.

Medical Identity Theft

With this type of identity theft, someone steals your identity to obtain health care or file a fraudulent insurance claim. Healthcare providers sometimes commit this type of fraud as well by submitting claims for services they didn’t provide. Besides costing you money, this can result in problems with your healthcare due to an inaccurate healthcare history.

Employment Identity Theft

Employment identity theft occurs when someone steals your Social Security number or other identifying information to obtain employment. People that have a poor employment history or a previous criminal conviction may commit this type of theft in an attempt to pass a background check or qualify for a job.

Tax Identity Theft

Identity thieves will do this in order to file a tax return with your information to get your refund before you do. You’ll likely find out about this kind of fraud when you’re informed by the IRS that someone has already filed a tax return using your Social Security number.

Criminal Identity Theft

This occurs when a person is arrested or questioned by the police and gives another person’s information. This is quite rare but can be very disruptive when it does happen, as you can get arrested or end up with a criminal record.

Synthetic Identity Theft

In this form of identity theft, the thief will combine stolen pieces of information from different people to create a new identity. It can be difficult for victims of this type of identity theft to realize their information has been stolen since credit reporting agencies will sometimes create a credit report for the new identity. If this happens, new accounts or other transactions will get reported to the new identity, making it less likely the victims will find out about the theft.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

As you have seen, identity thieves have a number of different ways to use your information, and this makes it hard to take any one step to protect your identity. Instead, it is important to take care whenever you give your personal data to others. Try taking care to minimize the number of services with access to your sensitive personal data. Also, if you suspect your personal data may have been breached, try performing a self-background check to see if your identity has been misused and take steps to make it right.

Your personal background check is required for literally everything in your life these days, from employers to rentals. Take control of yours.


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