Identity theft occurs when a thief uses another person’s personal or financial data for monetary gain. Common targets of identity theft include Social Security numbers, birthdates, names, addresses, driver’s license information, and financial account numbers. In today’s digital world, everyone is a potential victim of identity theft. However, not many people understand the ways in which criminals go about stealing people’s identities. In this article, we examine the most common types of identity theft.
Theft of Financial Information
Financial identity theft occurs when a criminal uses another’s personal financial data without his or her permission. Financial theft is the most common form of identity theft. Examples of this type of identity theft include:
- The opening of new accounts using a victim’s Social Security number or other data
- The use of stolen credit card information to make purchases
- The use of stolen funds from financial accounts
Theft of Medical Information
Medical identity theft occurs when a criminal uses someone else’s identity to obtain health care services. With this type of theft, a criminal may use a person’s name and insurance information to:
- Obtain prescription drugs
- Obtain expensive medical services
- Obtain medical supplies and equipment
Criminal Identity Theft
The next common type of identity theft is called criminal identity theft. This type of identity theft occurs when an individual who is arrested by law enforcement uses another person’s name instead of his or her own. A person may accomplish this by presenting a fake or stolen ID to the police.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Synthetic identity theft is a practice that involves creating false identities using the information of real people. To do so, criminals use information like addresses, birthdates, and Social Security numbers to create fake profiles. These new personas can then be used to apply for loans or to commit other types of financial crimes.
Theft of Children’s Information
Finally, perhaps the most disturbing type of identity theft involves children. Sadly, the theft of children’s identities is increasingly common in the United States. This type of identity theft involves using a child’s personal information to commit fraud. For example, identity thieves often use children’s information to open lines of credit, apply for government benefits, obtain a driver’s license, apply for government benefits, or even purchase a home.
Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer
If you or a loved one are a victim of identity theft, you need an experienced consumer class action attorney in your corner. Often, identity theft is the result of negligence on the part of entities that store our personal information. And when an entity releases such information without permission, it should be forced to provide financial compensation to those who suffer losses as a result. For assistance with your legal matter, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced class action lawyer.