There were over 48 million identity theft cases recorded in 2020. This was an increase of 3.3% compared to the cases in 2019. Experts suggest that this problem could collectively cost around $2 billion to owners and providers. Identity theft is increasing at an alarming rate because people use a wide range of methods to acquire information and use it illegally.
Due to quick technological advancements, fraudsters have access to new methods, ideas, and approaches to perform these scams. They can virtually access data and exploit it for their gains. You may also find these fraudsters selling your personal information online on the dark web.
However, knowing how to safeguard your personal information against breaches can save you from becoming another victim. Therefore, we will talk about the different types of identity theft for you to make a well-informed decision.
Why is Understanding Identity Theft Types Important?
Every type of identity theft has its approach, and its prevention differs. Users cannot expect to stay safe from unauthorized transactions, data breaches, and other financial compromises without knowing about these identity theft types. Thus, let us discuss some of the most common ones below
- Financial Identity Theft
- Child identity theft
- Driver’s license fraud
- Online shopping fraud
- Synthetic identity theft
- Tax identity theft
- Criminal identity theft
- Senior identity theft
- Medical identity theft, etc.
Financial Identity Theft
Account takeover fraud includes using personal information from another user to access their accounts and make monetary transactions or get additional benefits. For example, accessing someone’s account and transferring their money somewhere else. Similarly, these people may also use your money or account to get subscriptions, plans, insurance, and other benefits.
Additionally, most of these fraudsters access accounts and continue normal activities as you would for a few days. They make fraudulent transactions once they have full control over the account.
There are simple steps like using a VPN, creating better and stronger passwords, and avoiding information sharing that can help you avoid such situations.
Child Identity Theft
Child identity theft revolves around creating fake IDs under children’s names. Scammers can easily manipulate a child’s identity and gain finances without their knowledge or consent. This issue is a common problem for most parents and can cost them legal and financial trouble.
Synthetic Identity Theft
Synthetic identity theft includes using actual and fabricated information together to create accounts that are harder to track. Organizations can’t track this kind of identity theft. Scammers may use it to issue fake credit cards and protect against unauthorized access. There are a few steps to prevent this kind of attempt.
Driver’s License Identity Theft
Most people undermine the importance of a misplaced driver’s license. The license card has the owner’s sensitive information, including their name, address, license number, and much more. Thieves can easily exploit this information and damage the owner’s reputation.
Tax Identity Theft
This kind of theft occurs when a person tries to claim tax returns for the actual owner. Identity theft usually leaves the owners without thousands of dollars. This amount increases depending on each tax filer’s tax amounts.
Identity thieves may even claim your tax benefits without you realizing it by changing your address. So, ensure keeping an eye out for them or tax returns.
Online Shopping Theft
Online shopping is at an all-time high due to its convenience. However, online retail sites can compromise your personal information quite easily. For example, a fraudster may use spyware to track your card number and online activity. They can make purchases under your name once they have this information and reduce your credit score.
Criminal Identity Theft
Criminal identity theft includes a criminal using your personal information to perform illegal activities. This can include registrations, looting people, taking out credit cards, and much more.
Senior Identity Theft
Senior identity theft may include using a senior citizen’s info to create fake IDs and take senior citizen benefits such as pensions, support funds, and others.
Medical Identity Theft
Medical identity theft happens when a person uses another person’s health insurance for medical treatment. This could include medication, treatment, surgeries, and much more, and is a massive problem because healthcare costs $12,000 on average.
Employment Identity Theft
Employee identity theft revolves around taking monetary advantage such as assistive funds from companies under their employee’s fake identities. Most common examples of these scams include using information from other users to acquire their provident funds.
Estate Identity Theft
This theft includes stealing someone’s personal information to get their property and money. This type of theft is most common with rich people with no one to claim their inheritance.
Identity theft is an increasing problem in the US, as millions of users have become victims of it. There are several types of these identity thefts that users should avoid. We hope you understand some of the identity theft types we discussed in this piece. You can check out more information on identity theft with our articles.