Today, identity theft is said to be the fastest growing crime in America. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), stolen IDs were used for over thirty times before victims find out about it. This means that it may take up to 1 year before you become aware that your identity was stolen.
Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Even if there are some pro-active steps you may consider, it is important to know the different common types of identity theft. In this way, you will be able to know the right steps that should be considered once your identity was stolen.
Below are the most common types of identity theft:
Medical Identity Theft
Thieves utilize your medical information when filing false compensation claims of workers, have surgeries like cosmetic surgeries, frequently to alter their looks to avoid being recognized for their past crimes. They also use your medical information to take advantage of Social Security benefits including false medical liability claims and phony disability claims, and to acquire medical steps done for legit health problems, yet get stuck with huge doctor and hospital’s bills.
Driver’s License Identity Theft
Every information on your stolen driver’s license gives your address, name, identity number, and date of birth. Thieves utilize this information when applying for credit cards, loans; buy cars, boats, homes, jewelry, stereo equipment, and anything of value. And the worst thing about this is that these are all charged to you. Majority of drivers’ licenses also have information about street addresses, which can be used by thieves when knowing where you live and might rob you or your home.
Social Security Identity Theft
Thieves may also obtain new Social Security cards to get Social Security benefits that you’ve worked all for your adult life. These may include HUD benefits, welfare benefits, dental and medical care, housing vouchers, and obtain false passports.
Financial Identity Theft
Even if there’s obviously overlap between such kinds of identity theft, this can completely and specifically involves a criminal posing. The reason behind it is that thieves may empty your bank account, remove valuables you have in your bank vaults, financial holdings, steal international or off-shore assets, and sell or buy pricey items including land, businesses, homes, cars, and apply for credit cards or loans for which you’ll be held accountable by some lenders who approved the accounts or loans in the first place.
Criminal or Character Identity Theft
Identity thieves can commit crimes as you. In fact, you could apply for jobs or get caught by police because of violating laws and regulations on the road and anywhere. You can also end up getting arrested because of a bank robbery or a murder that you know nothing about. With this, you might experience tough times convincing policemen that you are not the person who did it.
Knowing more about the different kinds of identity theft can help you find the best ways to resolve it. The good news about identity theft is that Federal Trade Commission has responded quickly on such new crimes as well as law enforcement is working closely with several government agencies for apprehending such criminals and prosecute all of them to the fullest extent of the law. In addition to that, there are also bills that were introduced. Plus, new laws are passed to help every identity theft victims and restore their good names and credits in a timely and much efficient manner.
For the meantime, the best way to avoid identity theft is to pay attention to your personal information closely and monitor it from time to time. You should also track your credit card and bank account statements. If possible, always get copies of your credit reports yearly or monitor it using a service like the credit report monitoring service. If you have documents that contain your personal information, don’t just throw them away on the trash. Cross-shed all your documents when throwing them on the trash.
There are other ways on how you can prevent yourself from various types of identity theft. Practicing them daily or considering these as part of your daily routine can help you save yourself from being a victim of any type of identity theft.