Identity theft is a specific type of fraud, which involves stealing money or gaining other benefits by pretending to be someone else.
Identity theft can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. It can occur in many ways—from somebody using credit card details illegally to make purchases, to having a person’s entire identity assumed by another to open bank accounts, take out loans and conduct illegal business under that name.
Sophisticated information gathering tools such as malware and spyware enable perpetrators to gather personal information about targets without their knowledge, but there are measures to protect against these tools.
Identity theft is growing 15-20% a year and every one of us is a potential victim, regardless of our age, nationality, or status. Victims of identity theft suffer more than just financial loss.
Damage to their reputation and credit rating could take months and sometimes years to repair! A recent study reveals these alarming statistics: there were 12.6 million victims of identity theft in 2012 in the US, an increase of more than 1 million compared to 2011. Total financial loss attributed to identify theft in 2012 was $21 billion.
1 in 4 consumers that received a data breach notification letter became a victim of identity fraud. As criminals get more sophisticated and creative, it’s becoming more important for you to take necessary actions to protect your personal information.