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What Harm Can Identity Theft Do?

By Derek Brown
Published: Monday, January 31st, 2011

Identity theft is fast becoming a prevailing problem in our society. It is when someone else assumes the identity of another person in order to access resources and being able to obtain benefits and credits supposed for that person.

In most cases, identity theft is used to draw funds or make credits under the person’s name without knowledge and permission. Consequently, the person would be in great debt and will end up having a bad record as his perpetrator continues to assume his identity. In the same light, he will be accountable for the actions made by the other person.

Sometimes identity theft is used to acquire another person’s medical services or goods. This is action is done by getting insurance information, of course, without the knowledge of the person. When this happens, the benefits such as services and goods can be claimed by another person. The medical record of the real person will contain records of two individuals, creating a bigger problem when the legit person seeks medical attention. Medical records will contain erroneous. He may even be administered wrong medication.

In some cases, stealing identities are done by criminals to escape from the authorities. In assuming another person’s identity, the authorities will have a hard time tracking down a criminal. Stolen identification cards may be used by fugitives to avoid apprehension. This may also be done the other way around. When a criminal is apprehended, he may show a false identification, making the files under the victim’s name the one with criminal records. A victim may only find out about this when he needs to attend court proceedings about things he is not aware of. He may be able to clear his name but not all files may be updated right away. In the future a victim may still come across problems regarding his identification.

It may sound like a complicated thing to do, but 1 out 10 Americans has been a victim in one way or another. Some expert criminals perform this crime in a different way. With the acquired social security for example, he would replace the name of the holder. Making it look like it is a new file. This makes it even more difficult to track down because the records will not be visible to the credit record. This kind of fraud victimizes the lenders or creditors who, after loaning the money, will have no means of getting it back because the borrower is a made up identity.

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