This is known as personally identifiable information, or PII. When such data is connected to your name, the thief has simple access to your identity. A criminal may access your accounts and acquire credit in your name with only your name and Social Security number. This type of identity theft is called "naming and shaming."
Criminals can also use your name to open fraudulent accounts in your name at other companies, such as banks and phone companies. If you have ever received a letter from a bank or cell phone company stating that there is activity on an account that you do not own, that could be due to naming and shaming.
The easiest way to protect yourself against naming and shaming is to use caution when giving out personal information. For example, if you do not check your email often, it is easy for someone to get your address. In addition, do not give out information over the Internet unless you are sure who you are sending it to. Finally, do not give out information over the telephone unless you know who you are speaking with. Criminals will use any means available to them to obtain sensitive information about us. It is important to exercise caution when giving out personal information.
Identity theft may be caused by your name and address. Identity thieves are always on the lookout for personally identifiable information, or PII, that may be used to begin putting together a person's financial world. This can include information such as social security numbers, birth dates, and names and residences. If you have ever filed a tax return, you have probably given your name and address to the IRS. The same information is used to send you your refund. If this data is stolen, it can be used to file fraudulent claims against your account.
Your name and address may also be used to steal your bank accounts. Any time you fill out any form with your name and address on it, you are giving away sensitive information that could be used to commit fraud. For example, when you open a new credit card account, you are asked for your name, address, phone number, and email address. Your phone number is used to verify that you are a real person and not someone who has stolen an identity. If your phone number is found on a list of stolen numbers, future calls made from that number will come straight to voicemail.
Your name and address may also be used to steal your insurance policies. When you apply for an insurance policy, you are required to give a detailed description of all of the property covered. This includes items such as jewelry, vehicles, and other valuable possessions.
Identity theft would not be conceivable if thieves could not get someone's PII (personally identifiable information). PII refers to any data, both privately owned and publicly available, that defines and identifies you. This includes your name, address, social security number, phone numbers, email addresses, and credit card numbers. It also includes your birth date, mother's maiden name, and the name of your spouse or partner.
With this vast amount of information about you, it becomes easy for criminals to commit other crimes in your name. For example, if you have had your credit cards stolen, then criminals can use those cards to purchase items in your name. Also, they can open fraudulent accounts in your name using your ID photo as a reference. Finally, they can commit fraud by submitting false claims to insurance companies or other businesses that rely on accurate details about people to make decisions about their policies.
Criminals who steal your information may use it to obtain credit in your name, find jobs for you, even find new friends on Facebook. They may also sell your information to other criminals who may use it for more sinister purposes. For example, there are groups of hackers called "hacktivists" who use computer skills to fight injustice.
Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an impostor acquires personally identifiable information (PII), such as a Social Security number or a driver's license number, in order to impersonate someone else. The PII may be used to obtain credit, debit, automatic withdrawal, email, and phone account information.
The perpetrator can use this information for various purposes, such as obtaining employment, making purchases, establishing new accounts, and even filing taxes. The victim does not know this information has been stolen until it is too late; otherwise, these crimes would not be called "identity thefts".
There are two forms of identity theft: financial identity theft and personal identity theft. Financial identity theft involves the misuse of information for fraudulent activities that affect only one person or organization. For example, if Joe's Social Security Number (SSN) were used to set up an unauthorized account at Joseph's bank, that would be considered financial identity theft because only one person was affected. If that same SSN were used to purchase items in another person's name, that would be considered personal identity theft because it involved multiple people.
Personal identity theft occurs when an individual's identity is used without their knowledge or consent to commit other crimes such as fraud, harassment, vandalism, or extortion.
This is called "social engineering". A thief might call up a bank or credit card company and pretend to be you. They might use this information to create new accounts or charge purchases against an existing account.
If this happens to you, notify all of your banks and credit card companies immediately. Ask them what steps they would take if someone claimed to be you. For example, your bank might block the number or change your password or add extra security measures (such as a PIN) for other accounts that you own.
Criminals also use stolen identities to buy items that can help identify your true identity. For example, if you use a debit card but keep an eye on your statement, you will know if someone else uses your card. If it looks like someone else is buying expensive items or making large purchases, then it could be theft. Contact your bank immediately so they can stop any unauthorized transactions.
Social Engineering attempts to exploit human weakness by pretending to be someone else. With social media there are many ways that someone could misuse your information.