We all know that no matter how careful we are, we are susceptible to identity theft, but do you know the ways your stolen identity may be used? Identity theft is so much more than someone just running up thousands of dollars on your stolen credit card. There are all manner of ways your stolen identity may be used so let’s take a look at them.
1 Social Security Number
This is probably the most scary of the ways your stolen identity may be used. With your social security number someone can literally become you. It unlocks the key to your life because it is used as the basis of proof of identity for so many things. It must be one of the most worrisome things ever to discover that someone has stolen your social security number and has used it to buy a house and then defaulted on the mortgage.
2 Driver’s Licence
Not all the ways criminals might use your identity involve unsecured or hacked data on your computer. Modern technology makes it very easy for your driver’s licence to be copied with a new image for the holder. The thief can then use the fake licence in any way you would, or sell it on for illegal or criminal activity.
3 Medical Insurance
Can you imagine the horror of finding yourself unable to have medical treatment even though you have insurance? If someone steals your identity, they may very well use your health insurance to get treatment. This will cost you money, and your medical records will be updated with information that has absolutely no relevance to you. You also face a long hard battle to sort it all out.
4 General Insurance
If someone can steal your identity and medical insurance, then for sure, one of the other ways your stolen identity can be used is to purchase all other sorts of insurance such as home contents, motor and business insurances. It doesn’t sound too harmful until you find that they have made a load of claims, and when you come to renew your own insurances, the premiums you are quoted are astronomical.
5 Criminal Activity
Sometimes it doesn’t even need anything physical for your identity to be stolen. A criminal who knows your name and address can pass this off as their own when they arrested. These people are clever and believable – certainly clever enough to put on a convincing show then jump bail leaving the police to hunt you.
6 Children’s Identity
Most children and parents don’t give kid’s social security numbers much thought until they reach the age of majority. Seems reasonable and logical, but that means there are many years in which someone could have stolen that number and used it in many, many ways. And it’s horrible to think about but criminals are so low as to steal the identity of dead children too.
7 Composite Identity
This is one of the most complicated ways thieves may use your identity, but criminal minds are brilliant and find all sorts of ways to carry out their illegal activities. If there is value and reward, they will do it. A composite identity, aka a synthetic identity, is where personal information from one than one victim is combined to make a new bogus identity. Unravelling this is a complicated process.
Technology has made it a great deal easier for your vital personal details to be accessed, adding to the traditional methods still practiced. This therefore has extended the ways your stolen identity may be used. We need to be more vigilant than ever. Have you suffered identity theft?