Identity theft can turn into a nightmare if we do not know about it. No matter where you live and how much you follow the rules and regulations, identity theft can put you behind bars for years.
Well, no need to be worried about it anymore. A person with the knowledge and information can save himself from identity theft. As you are here, we are going to walk you through the most common types of identity theft so that you can protect yourself, your family, and your friends from this terrifying situation.
The more you know about it, the better. Before discussing the most common types of identity theft, you need to understand what it is and how it can turn your life upside down.
To put it into simple words, identity theft refers to the activity in which an individual acquires another person’s information and uses it for fraudulent and criminal activities. It can be anything from a person’s personal information to their bank history; then, the data is used for illegal activity.
Your personal information is important and crucial data, and it can be exploited in unimaginable ways.
While you may be thinking of ways to prevent this from happening to you, continue reading this article as we discuss the most common types of identity theft. Knowledge about it before it happens to you is the best way to keep personal data safe and secure from fraudsters and hackers.
Most Common Forms of Identity Theft
Identity theft has been on the rise. Despite of that, it is a challenging task to reduce it. However, the best thing you can do in this regard is to stay informed about the most common types of identity theft. This way, you can reduce the risk of getting trapped in this turmoil and protect yourself and your personal data.
For that reason, let’s talk about the types of identity theft below:
Financial Identity Theft
One of the most common types of identity theft you will find will be related to a financial activity. Financial gain is the top reason why identity theft is carried out.
Financial identity theft can further be categorized into different categories; let see what those are.
Credit Card Information
Most fraudsters try to acquire credit card information; it may be used to take loans or buy something in your name. It can be seriously damaging for anyone as he might lose all of his money in one go, and there is very little or no chance of recovery. You should regularly check the credit history to avoid identity theft and report to the authorities if you found any activity not performed by you.
Account Takeover Fraud
Your personal financial information is extremely important data. If it lands in the hands of criminals or fraudsters, you won’t be able to resolve it easily. Account takeover is one such example of identity theft where the hackers get into your account and make use of it however they like. It might be too late before you notice it, and you can lose all whatever you have in your account.
New Account Fraud
You may notice if the hackers take over your existing account, but what if they create a new account based on your personal information. All the transactions and messages will pass through them, and you won’t even notice.
Tax Associated Identity Theft
One of the main reasons identity theft is carried out is because of getting rid of taxes. For this, fraudsters try to access your social security number or tax identification number through emails, messages, and even phone calls. Fraudsters pretend like they are from the Internal Revenue Service, and people who are not aware of such deceitful activities end up giving their personal information to them.
Medical Identity Theft
It occurs to get medical service, drugs, or insurance by illegal means. Medical identity theft is a sensitive issue and can endanger your life as hackers might change medical history, prescriptions, and other important details.
Child Identity Theft
It is another common type of identity theft and is mainly carried out to gain government benefits, opening bank accounts, or taking out loans. Getting a child’s information seems easy for criminals to get from schools and other related organizations. Therefore you should keep the child’s information private as much as you can.
Criminal Identity Theft
It happens when criminals give another person’s personal information to the police or other security-related organizations when they are arrested. The criminals do it to set themselves free from the charges and put the victim responsible for the illegal activity carried out.
The victim finds out about it only when they receive a court order, their driver’s license is suspended, or when they apply for a job, and their name appears during the employment background checks.
It is hard to clear out your name in this case. Therefore, you need to keep your personal information to yourself. Do not share it with anyone unless it is for essential use.
While several types of identity theft are carried out each day, knowing about the most common types will allow you to take precautionary measures beforehand.
The key to keeping yourself safe from identity theft is continuous monitoring of your records, credit cards, reports, accounts, and all other items that you think contain your personal information. Do contact the authorities as soon as you notice any suspicious activity or change in the records.