Identity theft occurs when someone takes or uses another person’s personal identifying information such as their name, social security number, driver’s license, or financial account information. If you have been the victim of identity theft, it could mean someone has used your name to:
Identity theft may also include someone writing checks using your name or financial account information. Your information could be wrongfully obtained if your checkbook is stolen or if someone obtained access to your checking account electronically. Use of an ATM card or credit card that you did not approve is also identity theft. In some cases, identity theft occurs within families of children, seniors, and domestic violence survivors.
Being the victim of an identity theft can be a complicated and frustrating time in your life. Even if you are able to resolve a financial identity theft issue with your bank, this use of your name and credit history can result in you getting collection letters for things you did not purchase. It can also result in unfavorable entries on your credit report, causing you problems in getting credit or paying a higher interest rate.
You can also visit the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network to learn more.