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The definition of identity theft: The unlawful use of someone's personal information for fraud or deception. Personal information can include name, birth date, driver's license number, credit cards, bank accounts, checks, Social Security number, etc. Identity theft is used by criminals for financial gain, or sometimes to obtain fraudulent identity cards or official papers. It comes in many forms: financial theft, cloning and concealment, criminal theft, and synthetic theft.
Identity theft happens to people who are young, old, rich, poor, savvy and naive. All you need is information and you can be a victim. Identity theft happens to small companies, major corporations, government agencies, and any organization that has records containing personal information.
Identity theft information: Within the past five years, 27.3 million Americans have been victimized by identity theft. One survey reported yearly losses of $5 billion in damages for consumers and $48 billion for businesses. Identity theft is at the top of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) consumer complaints list.
Identity theft protection: Finding out you've had your identity stolen can be a traumatic experience. Recovery, however minimal the damage, can be financially and emotionally draining. Before you become a victim, protect your Internet, computer, cell phone, credit files, and public records. A reputable identity protection service will monitor your records and conduct surveillance of criminal activities to protect your identity.