Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Common Types of Identity Theft to Watch Out For

By Amanda Randell
Published: Monday, December 7th, 2009

Identity theft is a serious crime that is growing fast in the US and around the globe. It poses risks to anyone whose identity is compromised. Oftentimes, people realize too late that they have been victimized. You can avoid being a victim if you become aware of identity theft prevention measures. But in order to prevent, first you have to know what you should be preventing.

Identity theft comes in many faces. Here are the four types of identity theft:

  1. Character identity theft. This happens in the instance that an identity thief, when arrested for a crime, gives out the victim’s name and personal information in place of his character identity. When he doesn’t show up for the court hearing, the warrant is sent to the victim. This damages the victim’s reputation in that his police record is now tainted. He may also have his applications for loans and mortgages delayed or denied. What’s worse is that clearing the damage may take years and can be costly to the victim.
  2. Synthetic identity theft. Also known as Social Security fraud. The thief uses a person’s Social Security number (SSN) and mixes it with another person’s name and birth date. When this happens, the user of the new account is able to avail of different types of benefits, file for tax refunds, obtain food stamps or avail of student loans. This type mostly affects the creditors who grant credit to the fraudulent identity. This affects a lot of parties so there is really a need to arm ourselves with identity theft prevention techniques.
  3. Medical identity theft. The thief’s objective in this type of identity theft is to obtain medical benefits using a victim’s name and insurance card. This may result to accumulation of unpaid medical bills and false entries to the victim’s medical records. Just imagine the damage it would cause when a false medical record is added to your medical history. It can cause rejection of employment or of applications.
  4. Credit identity theft.  This is the most common type of identity theft since it is easy to carry out and the benefits are big. Victims of this type of identity theft can incur huge losses to their credit for purchase of goods and services that they did not avail of. Their credit history becomes ruined and they will have a hard time applying for new loans and mortgages.

Identity theft is a serious crime. The damages dealt to the victims are severe and hard to recover from. Keep track of your credit reports to monitor any fraudulent accounts or charges made to your account. Also, the main idea of identity theft prevention is to keep your personal information private because all a thief needs are simple information to control your finances and to control you.

Finally, ensure identity theft prevention through awareness. If people are aware that a crime of this sort is circulating, then they will be vigilant. Don’t be a victim and don’t let your friends and families be victims. Spread awareness and fight identity theft.

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