Identity Fraud is when a thief uses personal information that he has made up, rather than that which belongs to a real person. It is different than identity theft in that the perpetrator is not assuming the identity of another “real” person, but rather they are trying to “mask” their identity and trying to assume the identity of a fictitious person. Identity Theft is where a crook obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security number, drivers license information, name, address, mothers maiden name, and more so that they can impersonate a real person. The crook can then assume that persons identity. There are really two variants here: a crook can open new accounts in a victims name, this is referred to true account identity theft, or the crook can use the personal information to gain access to victims existing accounts, which is often referred to as account takeover identity theft.
- All of these are examples of what would be considered identity theft.
- A crook taking your credit card and making an unauthorized purchase. Credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft, accounting for almost one third of all reported cases.
- Someone obtains enough of your personal information to use your name and without your permission opens a utility or cell phone account in your name.
- Someone impersonates you and is employed using your name.