Although it’s not the most important factor, it can definitely help to know who commits identity theft, especially when it happens to you. Although you cannot prevent identity theft, if you want to protect yourself from identity theft, you will want to know the 8 types of identity theft, and how identity theft happens. Since different identity theft schemes will target different sorts of information, knowing who commits identity theft can help you understand what information to protect.
Who Commits Identity Theft?
Sometimes it is someone close - We trust family and friends to look out for us, so there is a feeling of betrayal at a very deep level when an identity theft victim finds they know the criminal personally. It’s hard to say how often this happens, because most victims prefer not to prosecute someone they know personally. It might not be something we like to think about, but it happens often enough that it should be a factor in your thinking.
Then there are our trusted advisors, people we look to for help through life’s complications. They have a reason to keep our information on file. But sometimes it’s a trusted advisor who commits identity theft. Tax preparation services see a lot of press in the first quarter for tax fraud, but many Medicare scams are committed as a form of identity theft, as well. The big problem here is the identity thief is the perfect person to cover up the crime, so you may not find out for years.
Finally, identity theft rings can be the most difficult to guard against, or respond to. They may appear random in nature, so you don’t see identity theft rings in the news very often. If you’re lucky, they only mess up your credit. But if your personal information starts circulating among illegal immigrants [LINK], you’ll have a new (and frustrating) hobby trying to clean up your identity.