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Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else.
Identity theft is becoming an increasingly common problem in the United States, as fraudsters discover more and more ways to get hold of the information which is required to steal someone’s identity.
Identity theft rarely involves the unauthorized taking of a victim’s personal possessions, however, it does involve the perpetrator of the crime taking the victim’s personal information and then using this in an unauthorized way for their own personal gain.
WARNING SIGNS OF IDENTITY THEFT
You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain
You don’t get your bills or other mail
Merchants refuse your checks
Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours
You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report
Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use
Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit
A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.
Tax-Related Identity Theft
An identity thief may use your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Contact the IRS if they send you a notice saying their records show:
you were paid by an employer you don't know
more than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number
Then, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft.
Medical Identity Theft
A thief may use your name or health insurance numbers to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file claims with your insurance provider, or get other care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, your treatment, insurance and payment records, and credit report may be affected.
If you see signs of medical identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report and recover from identity theft.
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