Identity Thefts: How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Identity Theft

According to Margaret Rouse, “Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver 's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else”. There are two types of identity theft. This includes true name and account takeover. True name identity theft is when the “thief uses personal information to open new accounts” (Rouse). When the “imposter uses personal information to gain access to the person 's existing accounts” (Rouse), it is considered account takeover. It is extremely important to be aware of how one gains access of someone’s identity, what happens when someone steals it, how to prevent it, and what to do if one falls a victim of identity
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Online thefts occur when “you receive emails from people posing as legitimate companies asking for your contact or credit card information” (How Does Identity Theft Happen?). Identity thefts will do many things to obtain one’s record. They may use computers, pay off employees, steal, or, in some cases, dumpster dive. Identity thieves may also tamper with one’s mail. It is possible that they will try and steal incoming or out coming mail. In extreme cases, and identity theft could fill out a change of address form through the victim’s name so that they can receive their mail. When trying to receive information through an ATM, thieves will use a technique known as skimming. This is when they obtain credit card information when you swipe your card by attaching data storage devices to an ATM. Lastly, direct theft is stealing things like a purse or wallet from the house. The most frequent identity thefts include working from home, credit card fraud, phishing, and email. (How Does Identity Theft…show more content…
Unfortunately, it does happen though. This is why it is critically important to understand what to do when becoming a victim of identity theft. First thing to do is to “put a fraud alert on your credit report” Kimberly Rotter says. Placing fraud alert on credit reports will force creditors to identify you more thoroughly, place a security freeze on all credit reports, copies of one’s credit report from all three agencies. The next step would be to contact any institution that was directly affected. For example, if a debit card or checkbook was stolen, the bank should be contacted. Afterwards, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should be contacted. The FTC will then be able to show the right path when dealing with identity theft. Furthermore, a police report should be filed. Once you receive the report, you create an Identity Theft Report with the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. “Your Identity Theft Report will help you when working with the credit reporting agencies or any other companies the identity thief may have used to open accounts in your name” (Rotter). Lastly, make sure one’s social security number is protected.

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