Identity Theft

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Identity theft is when someone gains access to your important personal details, such as your Social Security number, and then uses those details to perform illegal financial transactions while pretending to be you. These could include obtaining credit cards in your name, which could then be used to buy goods and services. The credit card statement would typically be addressed to you, but sent to a false address; because you never received the bill or paid it, your failure to pay would become part of your credit history and show up on your credit report. This could have serious consequences when you try to obtain credit for yourself legitimately. Other important data that can be stolen includes your PIN numbers, checking and savings account information, driver's license details, and your own credit card information. See also Phishing and Consumer Fraud.