Definition of Identity Theft

What is “identity theft”? What is the definition of the term “identity theft”?

“Identity theft” occurs when somebody steals your identity for the purposes of committing fraud.

The most common occurrence of identity theft takes place when somebody “steals” your identity and then buys goods using your name.

Identity Theft meaning and illustration - Definition - Dave Manuel Financial DictionaryFor instance, let’s say that somebody steals your identity and applies for credit cards in your name. The identity thief is able to intercept the credit cards before they reach you, and then they use these cards to buy items in your name. You are left to deal with the mess when the credit card bills come due.

Identity thieves need your personal information in order to execute their crimes. They can attain this using old-fashioned means (such as looking through your trash for bills, bank statements, etc) or through modern means, such as buying compromised information from hackers, etc.

Being very careful with your personal information and constantly checking your credit report are the two best ways to prevent identity theft.

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