identity theft

(redirected from Identity thief)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial.
Related to Identity thief: identity theft, Side Effects

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.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Identity Thief (near) shades Nichols Canyon at the last in Leopardstown's Ryanair Hurdle
Coral: 5-2 Irving, 3 Wicklow Brave, 5 Identity Thief, 6 Hargam, Top Notch, 7 Beltor, 14 Purple Bay, 16 Sign of a Victory, 20 Commissioned, 25 Intense Tango.
Identity Thief should be a riot, given the quality of talent in front of the camera, but Craig Mazin's screenplay is off-balance almost from the start when we meet Diana getting uproariously drunk in a Florida bar.
Identity Thief is on general release from March 22.
And we guarantee that if we don't stop an identity thief from misusing your information, we'll fix it at our expense, up to $1,000,000.
It will explain the specific ways an identity thief obtains a victim's personal information and the various ways in which the thief may use that information, including criminal record purposes.
To thwart an identity thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information, tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
A credit card bill that does not come on time may have been delayed or lost in the mail; but it is also possible that an identity thief has taken over your credit card account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
An identity thief had charged over $65,000 of unsecured debt using her identity.
I'M delighted to be back in action and really looking forward to riding Identity Thief in tomorrow's Florida Pearl Novice Chase in Punchestown.