What is identity theft, and how does it occur?

Identity theft is a charge in Florida that requires a solid defense. It’s a type of fraud-related white-collar crime that involves the use of another person’s information. There are different types of identity theft charges that a person can face.

Understanding identity theft

Identity theft is a fraud offense that occurs by stealing another person’s personal or financial information for one’s own benefit. When this happens, a person can obtain fraudulent IDs or licenses and open various financial accounts.

This is a white-collar crime that has gained ground over the years. It costs millions of dollars annually and can impact victims in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, with everything now being digital, there is no foolproof way for everyone to fully protect themselves against identity theft.

How identity theft occurs

There are different ways identity theft can occur. A person could gain access to someone’s credit card information through the use of a skimmer, data breach, online through unsecured websites and even by physically stealing a card or wallet containing one. It can also occur if a person gets hold of someone’s paper credit card statements that haven’t been shredded.

Many thieves rely on malware to gain access to victims’ personal information. Malicious software can be installed on a person’s computer or mobile device and compromise their data. Hackers can also get a person’s personal and financial information and use it to their advantage. They could also end up selling it on the dark web, which can leave victims dealing with recovering their good names for years.

If a person is suspected of committing identity theft, the case is investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. However, other government agencies may investigate based on the type of identity theft. For example, instances of mail fraud are investigated by the Postal Inspection Service.