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Understanding The Real Dangers Of Identity Theft

You may think that identity theft is something that happens to other people. However, your chance of becoming a victim of ID theft is growing.

There was a 13 percent increase in identity fraud in the United States in 2011, with more than 11.6 million adults becoming ID theft victims.

Identity theft is more than a nuisance. It can have serious consequences on everything from your finances to your life.

Financial ramifications of identity theft

Many people equate identity theft with financial fraud. In many cases, ID thieves are after your credit and you can suffer financial ramifications from this fraud.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft victims may:

  • Have thousands of dollars in debt accrued in their names
  • Get a scarred credit history
  • Be denied loans, mortgages, and employment
  • Not be able to open a bank account
  • Have to spend months or years to try to resolve financial errors and problems

Potentially life-threatening complications of a stolen ID

As noted by a source, medical fraud can be another way your identity may be stolen. ID thieves can assume victims' identities to obtain prescriptions or medical treatments.

Medical identity fraud can be dangerous because:

  • You may have trouble obtaining your prescriptions due to another person getting prescriptions under your name.
  • Medical mistakes could be made because of misinformation connected to your name.
  • Untangling your medical records with the thief's records can be time-consuming and could delay needed treatment.

ID theft victims could face criminal charges

As a victim, you may expect the police to help you, not arrest you. However, depending on what a criminal did with your stolen identity, you may have to prove that you did not break the law.

There is a chance that identity theft can get you in trouble with the law. This can occur if an ID thief receives a citation or otherwise breaks the law while using your identity. You could be implicated in a crime that you were not involved in and could have to deal with the ramifications. Not only does the membership in FreeScoresAndMore alert you to potential ID fraud through daily credit monitoring, but it also provides you with an identity fraud support service in the event that your identity is stolen.