Thursday, January 21, 2010

What is Identity Theft?

With all of the articles about breaches, including the ones I have posted, sometimes it is important to get back to basics about identity theft itself. Below is an excerpt from a PC World article published yesterday which outlines the definition of identity theft as it has evolved.

"Identity theft happens when your personal information is accessed by someone else without your explicit permission."• "Identity fraud occurs when criminals take that illegally obtained personal information and misuse it for their financial gain, by making fraudulent purchases or withdrawals, creating false accounts, or attempting to obtain services such as employment or healthcare. Personally identifying information such as your Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, passwords, telephone calling card number, birth date, name, address and so on can be used by criminals to profit at your expense."• "Almost 10 million Americans learned they were victims of identity fraud in 2008, up from 8.1 million victims in 2007.

"Identity theft also falls into this category [of financial fraud]; cases classified under this heading tend to be those where the perpetrator possesses the complainant's true name identification (in the form of a Social Security card, driver's license, or birth certificate), but there has not been a credit or debit card fraud committed."

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hi John,

There are good tools out there to store your private data in, such as PixelPIN-XP a picture based data manager.

Check itout for free at