While you may have seen dire warnings about the need to protect yourself from "identity theft," you may not be sure of just what identity theft is, or of the way it can hurt you. In order to protect your private information from identity theft, you should understand just what it means when someone steals your identity.
How Does Identity Theft Work?
Identity theft is a crime where someone steals your personal identifying details or data. For instance, another person may use your name, your social security number, your birth date, your insurance details along with other personal information. The objective of identity theft is to utilize your information and personal details to convince someone, such as a creditor or a hospital, that they are really you.
What Is the Reason for ID Theft?
The crime of identity theft occurs due to the fact thief hopes to obtain some sort of benefit from using the victim's identity. For instance, the identity thief could use the victim’s insurance information as a way to obtain medical services without paying for them. A target of identity theft could have his social security number used by someone who is trying to get a job, or used by somebody that is trying to obtain a credit card for fraudulent purposes. The thief thus benefits from the use of someone else’s information in several ways while the victim is left to try and contend with the mess that the criminal made.
How Are Victims Hurt by Identity Theft?
Identity theft could have a devastating impact on those who are victims. If you are a victim of identity theft, the actual consequences of the criminal act will vary depending upon what the identity thief did and how long they were allowed to misuse your personal information. For instance, the person who stole your details could have obtained a lot of medical services. You might end up receiving medical bills for co-pays and other expenses. You could also end up having inaccurate information in your medical records. In some instances, this could have a seriously adverse impact on your health if doctors or other care providers take actions using the wrong information in your records. If the ID thief misused the personal details in order to secure credit, then the consequences may involve a damaged credit score. This can also have an impact on your capability to borrow money when you need it.
Because identity theft is capable of having such an unwanted impact, many people will endeavour to defend themselves using tools such as IDENTITY GUARD® in their efforts to spot symptoms of ID theft early and to stop it before it is a huge problem. Find out how you can be protected by going to http://www.identityguard.com.