You may think you are familiar with what constitutes identity theft, but there is quite a bit more to this white collar crime than you might realize. It’s hardly just a simple nuisance or a headache anymore.
In fact, a wide variety of crimes come under the heading of identity theft. You might never even have heard of some of them.
It’s not just about snatching somebody’s credit card information
Identity theft isn’t only taking someone’s credit card information so they can buy merchandise with it. Over time, it has become a crime that is very sophisticated and can be highly technologized.
These are a few examples of what identity theft can be:
- Identity theft connected to online shopping: Millions of people shop from the comfort of home. Hackers can find clever ways to access your information and use it to make their own purchases.
- Identity theft via your mail: What you casually discard can be precious to somebody else, especially if they can use it for illegal gain. They might rummage through papers or mail you tossed out just to get your financial information. Some identity thieves have methods of retrieving mail from mailboxes, opening envelopes and altering checks enclosed in them.
- Synthetic identity theft: This takes place when someone whips up a whole new (and fraudulent) identity using personal information belonging to a number of people. Biometric identity theft occurs when an imposter mimics a personal feature of yours to gain access to the contents of an electronic device.
- Identity theft that involves a person’s driver’s license: If this piece of plastic is wielded by the wrong person, it could be a huge problem for its rightful owner because it has so much valuable information on it.
If you’re charged with identity theft
You might be charged with identity theft for any number of actions. If that happens, know your rights and what can be done to clear your name as quickly as possible.