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3 types of identity theft you should be aware of

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | White-Collar Crimes |

Identity theft is a prevalent concern in the digital age, where personal information is so often stored and shared online. This sophisticated crime involves the unauthorized acquisition and use of an individual’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number or financial details. Perpetrators, often adept at exploiting vulnerabilities in online security, use this stolen data for financial gain.

Unlike traditional crimes, identity theft often occurs without the victim’s immediate knowledge, making it challenging to trace and rectify. While the term often brings to mind financial crimes, identity theft can take various forms, including medical, criminal and synthetic identity theft.

Medical identity theft

This type of fraud happens when someone uses another person’s information to obtain medical services, prescription drugs or submit false insurance claims. Victims may only realize they’ve been targeted when they receive bills for services they didn’t use or when errors appear in their medical records.

Criminal identity theft

In cases of criminal identity theft, a person uses another individual’s identity when interacting with law enforcement. This can lead to false arrests, criminal records and legal issues for the innocent party who becomes entangled in someone else’s illicit activities.

Synthetic identity theft

Synthetic identity theft is a hybrid fraud that involves the creation of a new identity by combining real and fabricated information. This sophisticated form of identity theft makes it challenging to detect fraudulent activities, as the identity itself may not belong to any real person.

Unlike traditional identity theft, synthetic identity theft requires a significant investment of time. Perpetrators patiently cultivate these synthetic identities, often over extended periods, to establish a more convincing facade. Financial institutions are prime targets for synthetic identity theft. Fraudsters exploit vulnerabilities in the credit system, gradually building credit profiles for these synthetic identities.

Being accused of identity theft is a distressing experience with potentially far-reaching consequences, given the severity of the charges in question and how eager prosecutors are to secure wins in such cases. By better understanding the elements of identity theft, and seeking legal guidance and support accordingly, those accused of this offense can make informed decisions about how to defend against the charges they’re facing.