What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a federal crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses your personal information in a fraudulent or deceptive manner, usually for economic gain. It is reported to be the world's fastest growing crime. The most common way thieves steal personal information online is through spoof emails, spoof websites, social engineering and other scams.

Identity theft happens when someone obtains your personal information, such as name, date of birth, social security number or mother's maiden name to commit fraud or other crimes.

Fraud is committed when criminals use your personal information to access bank accounts, obtain loans, make purchases, rent an apartment, etc.


Who Can It Affect?

Anyone. Although it's considered a felony crime, police can't help you restore your credit record and undo the damage that's been done. Taking the proper precautions with your information is the best protection.