Identity Theft - When Strangers Become You

Discover the hidden dangers of identity theft in our latest blog. From facial biometrics to medical and child identity theft, learn practical ways to protect yourself in today's digital world.

Identity Theft - When Strangers Become You

Think about it – how many times have you mindlessly entered your personal information online, trusting that the website or app you're using is secure? Identity thieves are always on the hunt for their next target, and all it takes is one slip-up for them to strike. In today's era of digitalization, the threat of identity theft is large, with criminals adapting to exploiting personal information for dishonorable intentions. But what exactly is identity theft, and how can individuals protect themselves? Join us in this blog and look through the various forms of identity theft and practical tips to keep personal information safe and secure, so you can sleep soundly knowing your identity is under lock and key.

Face Identity theft:

In simple terms, identity theft is an issue when someone steals your sensitive data – your name, photo, phone/ID number, credit card details, or other identifying information – and uses it to impersonate you. It's a nightmare scenario that no one deserves, but in today's digital age, where data breaches are becoming increasingly common, the risk is higher than ever.

In this light, one of the most common form is face identity theft. Precisely, this involves criminals obtaining and misusing people's facial images or biometric facial data to impersonate them or gain unauthorized access to accounts and systems secured by facial recognition.

Facial images can be stolen through various means, including through data breaches, hacked devices or even captured from public sources like social media posts. Criminals can then exploit this facial data to bypass facial recognition security measures and commit fraud.

Protecting your facial data is crucial. The greatest suggestion might be that people should limit what face pics they share online, use privacy controls on apps/devices with facial search/recognition features, and be cautious about providing face photos online.

Credit Identity Theft:

Another one of the most common form is Credit Identity Theft - It involves someone using your personal information, such as your number, name, and address, to fraudulently open new credit accounts or obtain loans in your name without your consent. This type of identity theft can have serious financial consequences and can damage your credit score if left unchecked. The greatest relevant tip for averting and detecting such a situation is to regularly monitor credit reports for any unfamiliar accounts or activity. Alternatively, you can set up fraud alerts to receive notifications of any suspicious activity on your credit report. If you suspect that you've been a victim of credit identity theft, it's crucial to take immediate action by contacting your creditors to report the fraudulent activity and take steps to remove any unauthorized accounts from your credit report.


Medical Identity Theft:

There is another incredibly prevalent form of theft crime that jeopardizes something even more precious - your health. We are talking about medical identity theft. It is a phenomenon, when someone uses another person's identity, such as their name, insurance information, or ID number, to obtain medical treatment, services, or prescriptions without the victim's knowledge or consent. This type of identity theft can have serious consequences, including significant financial loss. The victim may be billed for medical services or treatments that they did not receive. Except for material loss, that type of fraud might lead to privacy violations, since it can compromise the privacy and confidentiality of the victim's personal health information, potentially exposing sensitive medical details to unauthorized individuals or organizations.

If you suspect that you've been a victim of medical identity theft, it's crucial to take immediate action by reporting the incident to your insurance company, healthcare providers, and relevant authorities. You should also request copies of your medical records to review for inaccuracies and work with your healthcare team to correct any misinformation in your records - Proactive measures are key.

Child Identity Theft:

In addition, we have to mention the most disgraceful way used by criminals worldwide - Child Identity Theft: It involves when a criminal obtains and misuses a child's personal information, to fraudulently open credit accounts, apply for loans, or engage in other financial transactions in the child's name. Because children typically have clean credit histories, this type of identity theft can go undetected for years, often until the child becomes a young adult and applies for credit, such as student loans or credit cards. By staying vigilant and taking proactive measures to protect a child's personal information, you can help reduce the risk of child identity theft and minimize the potential impact on their financial future by educating your child about identity theft. The realization that being cautious about sharing sensitive details online or with others is most important in this light.

Employment Identity Theft:

To gain employment illegally, identity thieves might go beyond predictable. Thieves may use the victim's identity to obtain a job, receive wages, and potentially access benefits or file taxes under the victim's name. This type of identity theft can have serious consequences for the victim, especially for the taxes. The victim may face complications with their tax returns, such as receiving notices from the Revenue Services about unreported income or discrepancies in their tax filings due to income earned by the identity thief under their name. Employment identity theft can lead to financial losses for the victim as well, such as having wages garnished or taxes owed on income they did not earn. In case of any suspects, it is key to contact your employers, revenue service operating in your country, or relevant law enforcement agencies to report the fraud and work to resolve any issues with the tax filings or employment records.

Government Benefits Identity Theft:

The last alarming form of identity theft that we would like to mention targets government assistance programs. Government benefits identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal information to fraudulently obtain government benefits such as Socially vulnerable status assistance, medical care, and so on. This type of identity theft can have serious consequences for the victim including Loss of Benefits: The victim may discover that their legitimate claims for government benefits are denied or delayed due to fraudulent claims made using their identity. Furthermore, it might have legal consequences. The victim may face legal complications or be falsely accused of fraud if government agencies believe they were involved in the fraudulent activity. In this regard as well, taking immediate action by contacting the relevant government agencies is also very crucial for early effective intervention.

Identity theft poses a significant threat in today's digital world, with criminals constantly seeking ways to exploit personal information for financial gains. From credit and medical identity theft to criminal, child, employment, and government benefits identity theft, the consequences can be devastating for victims, ranging from financial loss to legal issues.

However, by staying alert, monitoring accounts regularly, and taking proactive measures to safeguard personal information, people can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft. In this blog, we tried to make our readers informed about common types of identity theft and how to take immediate action if suspicious activity is detected. Through awareness, education, and preventative measures, a more secure digital environment for all will be safeguarded.