Identity Theft

Good Essays
Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the largest crimes committed in The United States each year. Identity theft is a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. The victim of identity theft can suffer adverse consequences if they are held accountable for the perpetrator's actions. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another's personally identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The term identity theft was coined in 1964 however it is not literally possible to steal an identity—less ambiguous terms are identity fraud or impersonation.
"Determining the link between data breaches and identity theft is challenging, primarily because identity theft victims often do not know how their personal information was obtained," and identity theft is not always detectable by the individual victims, according to a report done for the FTC. Identity fraud is often but not necessarily the consequence of identity theft. Someone can steal or misappropriate personal information without then committing identity theft using the information about every person, such as when a major data breach occurs. A US Government Accountability Office study determined that "most breaches have not resulted in detected incidents of identity theft". the report also warned that "the full extent is unknown". A later unpublished study by Carnegie Mellon University noted that "Most often, the causes of identity theft is not known," but reported that someone else concluded that "the probability of becoming a victim to identity theft as a result of a data breach is ... around only 2%". More recently, an association of consumer data companies noted that one of the largest data breaches ever, accounting for over four million records,

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