Different Types of Identity Theft

Monday, April 4, 2022 12:02 pm, Posted by Absolute Destruction

Identity theft is a growing problem that is becoming more and more widespread as people get exposed to newer technologies. If you’re unaware of this threat, you may be opening yourself up to hackers who will take advantage of your vulnerability, and all because you’re unprepared and unprotected.

To find out what vulnerabilities identity thieves can take advantage of, you should be aware of the many different types of identity theft being perpetrated today. Read on to discover the more common types of identity theft around you so you can protect yourself against them.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity fraud or theft is the act of using another individual's personal identifiable information, usually for financial gain. Data involved can be names, birthdates, driver’s license details, Social Security numbers, addresses, bank account numbers, or credit card numbers.

Malicious actors use these personal identifiable information to apply for credit cards illegally, to buy products, or use health insurance to get medical care.

To protect yourself against this crime, you need to learn how identity theft happens. Below are the common ways criminals can get your personal details for monetary gain:

  • Theft - a criminal steals your wallet to obtain sensitive data, like credit card numbers
  • Phishing - an email or text scam that tricks recipients into sending personal information to identity thieves
  • Hacking - the criminal act of hijacking computer systems to steal personal data
  • Cold calling - an identity thief calls victims, pretending to be a representative of a credible organization. An IRS impersonation telephone scam is a good example of this.

What Are the Different Types of Identity Theft?

One way to protect yourself against criminal activities is to keep yourself informed. To stay one step ahead of thieves and hackers, you can learn about the common forms of identity theft below.

Financial Identity Theft

Financial identity fraud occurs when someone uses another individual’s information for financial gain. Fraudsters can steal your data through email scams, SMS scams, or hacking.

Computer viruses can also contain malicious or spying code that can collect information, like information about your credit card, credit scores, and even passwords to your bank accounts without your knowledge. This is what’s called malware (malicious software).

Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft happens when an individual poses as another person to receive medical care. This crime could result in medical bills for services and prescriptions you did not get or request.

You can address this threat by regularly reviewing your medical records. If someone stole your identity to get medical services, you can file a police report and reach out to your insurance company.

Criminal Identity Theft

Criminal identity theft is one of the most common types around and this happens when a person arrested by a government official uses someone else’s identity. They can pull this off by using stolen or fake IDs when making purchases.

This is the reason why it’s advised that if you lose your ID or someone stole it, you should report it immediately to law enforcement.

You should also remember to limit the personal information you share online. Although this tip is obvious, it is still worth mentioning, especially now that people have no qualms about oversharing on social media.

Tax Identity Theft

This type of crime happens when someone uses your personal data to file a tax return in your name to get a refund. Victims of this type of crime only realize that their identity has been stolen once they file their tax return and find that someone has already processed it for them.

In Canada, if someone tampers with your account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the agency will alert you of the crime. You may need to disable access to your account after an identity theft occurs.

If you’re not careful with how you dispose of old technology, old bills, or documents, malicious actors can easily obtain your personal information. This data can include credit scores, credit reports, and even credit card bills. To keep your data safe, you should get document shredding in Mississauga, Toronto, or other cities in Ontario.

Synthetic identity Theft

Fraudsters use a combination of fake and real information to commit synthetic identity theft. For instance, an identity fraudster might use a real address along with a name that’s not associated with that address.

Identity thieves usually use the name of deceased people for this crime since agencies do not monitor this type of data often. They also use children's personal information to commit child identity theft.

Pro Tip: Good IT habits can help protect you against different types of identity theft and other cybersecurity attacks.

Protect Yourself Against Different Types of Identity Theft

Protecting yourself against the threat of identity theft is easy if you’re careful and educate yourself accordingly. Organizations, particularly financial institutions, should also practice stringent security habits to defend themselves against malicious actors.

One way to protect your data is by making sure that you’re properly disposing of old equipment and documents that contain sensitive information. If you’re looking for professionals who offer shredding services in Toronto, Absolute Destruction is one such company that can help.

With Absolute Destruction, you’re assured of the complete and secure destruction of documents and data. You can get rid of any sensitive data without worrying about identity theft.

Protect yourself against different types of identity theft by calling Absolute Destruction today! With our secure data destruction services, you can be sure that your sensitive data will remain safe and secure.

FAQs on Different Types of Identity Theft

How do you know if you’re a victim of identity theft?

Victims of identity fraud may get a notification from their financial service providers, like their banks or credit card companies. If someone steals your identity, you may also find unexplained changes in your credit score or other financial data.

How does identity theft occur?

There are several ways thieves can get your personal details, including hacking, theft, cold calling, or email scams.

How can you prevent medical identity theft?

To prevent medical identity theft, be sure to read your medical and insurance statements thoroughly. If you spot something unfamiliar, call your health insurance provider. Regularly checking your medical insurance information can protect you against medical identity fraud.

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