3 types of identity theft

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines identity theft as someone assuming an identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. This information may come from a wallet, going through trash or hacking into banking information. Here are three types of identity theft

1. Financial

If someone were to use another person’s identity through credit cards or loans, they could damage credit scores or keep someone from getting a loan. In 2019, individuals filed over 651,000 reports of identity theft with the Federal Trade Commission. The top three financial thefts of 2019 were:

  • Credit cards
  • Business or personal loans
  • Auto leases or loans

California had close to 74,000 complaints of identity theft in 2018.

2. Medical

Medical identity theft is a type of health care fraud. Identity theft occurs when someone uses the information to get medical services, prescriptions or insurance coverage. For example, medical personnel billing insurance providers or government programs on behalf of a patient for medical goods or services that may not have been performed.

The FBI works with the Food and Drug Administration, Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the IRS, as well as the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, to investigate reports of health care fraud and identity theft.

3. Criminal

Criminal identity theft occurs when an individual cited or arrested for a crime gives law enforcement the personal information of someone else. He or she may use the person’s name, address and other identifying information. As a result, the person’s name used may turn up incorrect information in a background check.

Accusations of identity theft can be quite serious. It is important to understand the different types of identity fraud to build a solid case and understand your rights if you find yourself facing such charges.