The World today, is full of fraud. Fraudsters come up with new techniques each day, to trick people out of hard earned money. Among all the frauds that are happening around the World, the most common is identity theft. So, many people have fallen prey to identity theft and faced unnecessary problems. In this blog, we will talk about everything you need to know on identity theft.
In the case of identity theft, personal information like name, date of birth, address, phone number and so on are stolen by fraudsters for the purpose of applying for a loan or to misuse for any other illegal purposes. If fraudsters avail the loan in your name, the burden of repayment falls on you and if you don't repay the loan, your credit score goes down.
See Also: Signs of Identity Theft
Fraudsters use your personal information for the following purposes:
1. To avail personal loan, two-wheeler loan and credit card from the bank.
2. To buy products online.
3. To open a bank account.
4. To gain access to someone's existing Bank accounts.
5. To get an internet connection.
6. To purchase a new SIM.
7. To get documents like voter ID, passport and driving license.
Identity Theft Examples
Fraudsters once obtained 33 credit cards from State bank of India through identity theft. These credit cards were obtained in the name of private employees by submitting fake documents like salary slip, forged voter ID cards, and PAN card. After credit cards were availed, fraudsters had spent around Rs 36 Lakhs using these cards.
Victims got to know they had fallen prey to identity theft, only after receiving credit card bills from the bank.
1. Financial identity theft
Under financial identity theft, stolen information is used by fraudsters to gain access to the victim's existing accounts like bank account and credit card accounts. After gaining access to accounts, money is used to purchase goods and avail services. Fraudsters even change the address of all those accounts, so that the bill or statements do not reach victims and they continue to trick innocent people.
2. True name theft
Under true name theft, fraudsters make use of stolen information to create fake documents or to open a new account in victim’s name. This includes availing personal loans, two-wheeler loans, credit cards, new SIM cards, internet connections and so on.
3. Criminal identity theft
Under criminal identity theft, fraudsters use victim’s information to carry out criminal or illegal activities. Fraudsters impersonate people and execute criminal offenses.
4. Medical Identity Theft
In the case of medical identity theft, the victim’s insurance information will be used by fraudsters to avail medical benefits and services.
1. To protect yourself from identity theft, you must always keep financial information safe and secure. Never disclose or misplace credit card details, loan details, bank account details and insurance details.
2. Go through credit card and bank account statements regularly. You can easily identify fraudulent transactions. Raise a dispute if you find any transactions, not made by you.
3. Inform your bank if you do not receive credit card bills on time.
4. Go through the statements of your health insurance plan. If you have made any claim, the amount paid by the insurer and the claims made should match.
5. Be careful while disposing documents which contain your personal information.
6. Do not share too much information on social media sites.
If any person makes use of an electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature of some person fraudulently, he/she will be punished with imprisonment which may extend up to 3 years along with a fine up to Rs 1 Lakh.
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