Shady individuals can take on another identity and claim it as their own. With the rise of new media and technology, criminals have also gone stealth mode and adapted like a chameleon to new ways of doing identity fraud.
Identity theft is a commonplace offense that is rampant at various points of the world and is even committed over the World Wide Web. Tons of information is uploaded in social media and the rest of the internet marketplace which makes vital data openly disclosed to the rest of the world. This makes your personal or private data vulnerable to identity theft by lewd cybercriminals that hoard the internet of information every day.
Identity theft takes place when a person or an organization steals a victim’s personal information and use it illegally and for personal gain. Even a mere mention of your date of birth would be useful for accessing bank or social media accounts because verification process would almost always require you to indicate your date of birth. This makes even the smallest and most harmless detail crucial to a person’s safety and financial security.
Once a person is able to get hold of your personal and financial information, they can manipulate and use this in illegal endeavors such as in money laundering, cybercrimes, drug trafficking, illegal entry to countries, and smuggling illegal goods; to name a few. Stolen information can also be used for financial fraud such as bank fraud, telecommunications fraud, tax rebate fraud, and credit card fraud; among others.
Once a lawless criminal has taken hold of your private and personal information, you risk being suspected for involvement in a crime because the perpetrator could be using your identity in their transactions and documents which point every paper trail to you. This makes you a suspect of the crime and it would even be hard to prove your innocence with all evidences pinpointing you. If the perpetrator uses it for financial fraud, you could be in huge debt or worse, you could end up in jail. This also affects your credit rating and you could be blacklisted and miss a lot of credit opportunities.
Victims of identity theft are usually unharmed physically but their reputation is already tarnished or damaged because the criminals who have been using your identity along with all the personal information associated to your person could be using it for illegal transactions like extorting people for money or doing other serious crimes while hiding under your identity. In the light of innovations in technology and popularity of social media, exchange of information happens in the speed of light.
Although identity theft couldn’t be stopped at this point, you can protect yourself from falling as a victim of this crime by safeguarding your data. Limit what you post online and adjust privacy setting on your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like. Do not open any suspicious emails that could be relatively phishing for your private and personal data. You alone can are responsible for protecting your identity and personal data. Your identity and privacy as a person are sacred to you alone that must be safeguarded and should not be just be scattered all over social media as this could make you an easy prey or target for social predators proliferating the web.