In the 20th century, it has become a growing problem, as it offers a higher profit margin with less risk for perpetrators compared to illegal drug sales.
Most people do not consider this a serious crime, but some people do, especially those who become victims of this crime.
Victims of identity theft find it difficult to clean up the mess done to their good name and credit record by the identity thieves.
But how does an identity theft take place? It is simple.
The identity thief gathers all your personal information like your name, date of birth, home address, phone numbers, Social Security number, driver's license number, credit card numbers, ATM cards, telephone calling cards, and even mortgage details.
All this information can be accessed through either high-tech methods that include online theft from banks, credit reference agencies, credit card networks, and phone companies or low-tech methods that include dumpster diving, mail theft, retail theft, and purse or wallet theft.
After gaining access to your personal information, the identity thief now makes use of such information to make charges to your existing credit cards, having phone or utilities turned on, opening new credit cards in your name, withdrawing money from your bank accounts, and applying for loans such as student loans, mortgage loans, and auto loan.
Without you knowing it, the identity thief is already making money out of your personal information, and leaving damage to your name and credit records.
Identity theft is a serious crime that one should never ignore.
If this has not happened to you, consider yourself lucky since the aftermath of this crime can be devastating.
Perhaps the worst part is, even if you are the victim, you are treated like a criminal until you have proven that you did not do anything wrong.