Everyone has their own unique identity. It isn’t just someone’s facial features, fingerprints or body shape but also their name, birth date and mother’s maiden name – all of which are key pieces of information people use to identify themselves when applying for loans and credit cards or accessing private accounts, like bank accounts.
This information could be stolen and used for nefarious purposes. Identity fraud is the act of stealing someone’s information for personal gain, which often causes the victim to lose money or property. Identity theft can happen in a number of ways, including:
The oldest form of identity theft is caused by physical theft. In other words, someone may steal someone’s wallet or purse and use the contents to withdraw money or make purchases. However, another more modern approach people use is stealing phones. Many people store all of their financial information on their phones, which could be easily accessible to anyone.
Another often-used form of identity theft is called “phishing,” which is basically a way of manipulating people into revealing their personal information. This often happens to elderly people and young adults who may be scared or threatened into giving away their information.
Nearly everything online asks for some kind of personal data from people. This is often added to the security that only the people who need to know the information will ever have it. Unfortunately, there are people who want others’ personal information more than the people protecting it and may access it through data breaches.
Friends and family
Has a friend or family member given their credit card to you to make a purchase? While they may trust that you’ll do the right thing, others may believe that you’ve stolen the credit card. While the owner of the credit card gave you permission to use it, it could be seen as identity fraud if they forget or change their mind and later deny that you had their consent.
If you’ve been accused of identity fraud, you need to understand your legal rights. There may be several potential defenses available to you, and experienced legal guidance can help.