Identity Theft

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Pages: 8

Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 11/24/2012 01:38 PM

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Identity theft refers to a situation where a person uses information used to identify another person, such as their name, credit card number or social security number without their permission, in order to commit fraud or other crimes. In other words, it is stealing the identity of a certain person and pretending to be that person by assuming their identity, usually so as to access their resources or to obtain recognition and other profits in their name (Cheney, 2005).

There are many forms of crime related to identity theft. Some identity thieves rent apartments or get credit cards or phone accounts in the names of their victims. These victims may not learn out about it for some period of time, until they notice some charges they did not make, or are contacted by a person or people claiming that they owe them. It may sometimes cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars and a lot of time while trying to undo the damage (Keith, 2005). Identity theft could ruin an otherwise spotless reputation. It could also lead to much suffering if the victims are held responsible for the thief’s actions.


Identity theft can be divided into the following categories:

• Criminal identity theft, that is, pretending to be another person when arrested for an offense

• Child identity theft.

• Financial identity theft, that is, using the identity of another person so as to be given credit, services and goods

• Identity cloning, that is using a different person’s information so as to use his identity in day to day life

• Medical identity theft, that is, using another person’s identity so as to get medical care or medication

• Synthetic identity theft

Identity theft can be used to make easy or finance crimes such like terrorism, illegal migration and espionage. Identity thieves normally seek to get noticed; they may do it just for fun, for the purpose of...