Are you familiar with the 2013 comedy film “Identity Thief”? It portrays identity theft in a comedic and lighthearted way, however it is a very real and serious problem many people have to unfortunately deal with.
Identity theft - definition
What is identity theft definition? Well, we use the term identity theft when talking about the case of someone's personal information (ex. name, credit cards numbers) being stolen and used by someone else without their permission. Some of the most known types of identity theft are:
Tax identity theft - where a person’s authentic information is used to file a tax return with false information,
Financial identity theft - where the perpetrator claims to be someone else to in order to open a new bank account, get a loan, issue a new credit card etc.,
Medical identity theft - where someone who has your health insurance information and/or card seeks medical help posing as you,
Child identity theft - where a minor's identity is used for the impostor's personal gain.
How to check if your identity has been stolen
With PimEyes, an online face reverse image search engine, you can find and monitor your online presence. You can try it out yourself to see if your identity has been compromised.
Upload a photo and find out where your face appears online
How can someone steal your identity?
There are many ways in which someone can steal your identity. Your personal information can be leaked from online company data breaches, obtained via voice phishing, stolen mail, thieves or even dumpster divers who look for thrown out parcel packaging or papers which include valuable information. Hackers can even obtain your personal data if you’re using a public Wi-Fi.
Prevent Identity Theft
The theft of personal information is more common than one could think, however, it can be prevented. You can take actions such as freezing your credit, shredding important documents and crossing out any personal information which appears on stuff you intend to throw out. Monitoring your bank accounts and medical statements regularly is a must! If you notice any unauthorized charges on your credit card, cancel it immediately. Limit your usage of public Wi-Fi and be careful with your personal belongings.
Report Identity Theft
You can report fraud and identity theft to the appropriate federal institutions in your country, so they can create a case file and help you out. Taking appropriate actions such as freezing your bank account and cancelling your credit cards is also recommended. Become knowledgeable about which actions you can take and act.
Identity theft is a very serious problem which might affect one person’s life for quite some time unfortunately. You must be careful and responsible in order to prevent it from happening to you.