identity theft

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identity theft,

the use of one person's personal information by another to commit fraud or other crimes. The most common forms of identity theft occur when someone obtains another person's social security number, driver's license number, date of birth, and the like and uses it to open a fraudulent bank, credit card, cellular telephone, or other account, or to obtain false loans. Criminal identity theft, the most common nonfinancial type, occurs when someone gives another's personal information to a law enforcement officer when he or she is arrested. In addition to the financial losses resulting from identity theft, the person whose personal information has been used will have an erroneous credit or criminal history that is often expensive and time-consuming to correct. The occurrence of identity theft increased significantly beginning in the late 1990s due to the computerization of records and the ability to use another's personal information anonymously over the Internet.
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identity theft

Stealing the identity of others by using their credit card, drivers license, social security or other personal identification numbers. With "true name" identity theft, the thief uses the information to open new accounts. With "account takeover" identity theft, the thief uses the information to access existing accounts.

Not only can the thieves run up bills for the victims, but they can commit crimes pretending to be the victim, who may have enormous difficulty proving otherwise. Although catalog shopping by telephone has been around for decades, it is possible that an order taker might find someone acting suspicious. However, the complete lack of human interaction on the Web has caused identity theft to increase. In 1998, the U.S. Congress made identity theft a federal offense.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The increase in targeted hacking incidents and ID thefts will be coupled with a decrease in widespread Internet-spanning events such as worms and viruses.
The increase in businesses affected by this crime is mirroring the increase in personal ID theft, with one in 10 people seeing their personal details used by thieves to obtain credit.
The survey was conducted by insurance firm CPP to highlight the fact that 'borrowing' another person's identity is effectively producing a culture of ID theft in the UK.
And from pounds 1.50 a month More Th>n offers its insurance customers an ID theft service that includes a legal helpline and mediation, legal documents to help repair credit status and pounds 50,000 cover for legal fees.
From an identification theft perspective that is both a good and bad thing," says Senator Debra Bowen, the author of several ID theft prevention hills and one of the nation's experts on how states can combat such theft.
In America, ID theft is big business with more than one million people likely to be stung this year alone.
A STRAPPING 6ft 1in, 23st bloke ordered to court over dodging train fares turned out to be the victim of ID theft.
Tigard, OR, February 11, 2014 --( IDTELi, LLC., a leading provider of identity theft prevention training and security products, is pleased to announce the launch of its new comprehensive ID Theft Laws Compliance Programs for the hardware store industry.
Linda thought she had been a victim of ID theft until checks showed the cash went to her daughter's account. offer consumer advice on identity theft and breaches as well as a quiz to determine personal risk of identity theft and daily blogs from McAfee consultant Robert Siciliano, an expert on ID theft.
About 52% of those who were covered in the survey felt that rising unemployment drives more people towards criminal activity and ID theft.
The author uses layman's terms to discuss effective strategies for securing networks, managing personal and customer data, gaining remote access securely, avoiding ID theft, protecting cell phones and PDAs and discouraging scammers and hackers.