Identity Theft Essay

1907 words - 8 pages

Identity Theft



What is identity theft?
By definition “Identity theft n. the dishonest acquisition of personal information in order to perpetrate fraud, typically by obtaining credit, loans, etc., in someone else's name; fraud perpetrated in this way. ” (dictionary.oed.com, 2007). It’s estimated that 9 million Americans have had their identities stolen each year. “According to the Secret Service, its investigations show a jump in potential losses due to identity theft, from $851 million in 1998 to $1.4 billion in 2000.” add citation from how stuff works There are many ways that thieve steal your identity, they may go through your trash, steal your wallet or purse. I will discuss a lot of the different ways in more detail. Per about.com dumpster diving. “Dumpster diving is when someone goes looking through other people’s trash for items that can be used or sold”. (Ledford) Dumpster diving in of itself is not a crime if the trash is in a public places, it only becomes a crime if the trash is considered concealed. Dumpster diving is more of a threat than most people realize. It’s easy for a theft to get your personal information if you throw it away. So Shred everything that has identifiable information about you. A phishing scam is when someone claims they are from a bank, wireless company or some company that would normally have your personal information. They have fake websites that look just like that company’s real website. They ask you to click on a link to update or missing or invalid information. Once you click on the link it takes you to their site and they gave and use your information. Here are some tips the FTC recommends to help prevent this from happening to you. If you receive one of these emails don’t click on the links. A legitimate company will not request you enter personal information through an email. The FTC suggest that you open another internet browser and type in, (not paste in) the company email address. Also be careful about opening email attachments, they could contain virus. You should also report any phishing scams to spam@uce.gov , in addition notify the company that was impersonate in the email you received.
Types of Identity Theft
Medical identity theft is when someone that does not have health insurance claims to be you in order to use your personal information to get medical care, like surgery or get prescription drugs. The really bad part is that this type of theft is hard to prove. Also this false information could become part of your medical record. Synthetic Identity Theft is when is when a completely new identification is created using bit and pieces of different people’s information. For example, they may use one person’s social security number and another person address and the use someone else’s name. This type of crime is hard to detect, since the information really doesn’t make anyone information. Criminal identity theft is when someone gives law enforcement someone else...

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