"Identity theft" refers to crimes in which someone wrongfully
obtains and uses another person's personal data (i.e., name, date of
birth, social security number, driver's license number, and your
financial identity— credit card, bank account and phone-card
numbers) in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for
economic gain (to obtain money or goods/services). Criminals also
use identity theft to fraudulently obtain identification cards,
driver licenses, birth certificates, social security numbers, travel
visas and other official government papers.
Unlike your fingerprints (which are unique to you and can't easily be given to, or stolen by, someone else for their use), your personal data can be used, if it falls into the wrong hands, allowing criminals to profit at your expense. Plus, according to the FTC, —on average, most victims don't even know their identity has been stolen until more than a year later.
Identity theft can have devastating consequences for you, as the victim, who may face long hours of closing bad accounts, opening new ones, and repairing your wrecked credit record. And, it may take significant out-of-pocket expenses to clear your good name. In the meantime, you may be denied jobs, loans, education, housing, and cars, or even get arrested for crimes you didn't commit. Unfortunately, the experience of thousands of victims is that it often requires months, and even years, to navigate the frustrating, identity-recovery process.
If you think you may have been the victim of identity theft please contact UHDPS. If you would like additional information please visit these sites: