When consumers think of identity theft, they tend to envision credit card fraud, check fraud, or other crimes that can affect their finances. But the reality is that identity theft crimes fall into several different categories, mostly based on what it was a thief was after.
There are many different kinds of identity theft, all of which can have lasting effects for the victims. While financial identity theft can cause problems for making large purchases or even getting a job later, and medical identity theft can even impact the health care you receive, one type of identity theft can land you in jail if it’s not resolved.
Identity theft is a truly horrible crime. Without anyone laying a hand on you, it can seem like your entire life is on the line. Someone is “out there,” using your identity, pretending to be you, smearing your good name and your good credit. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s Aftermath report, identity theft is so hurtful to victims that many of them reported feelings of paranoia and mistrust, as well as more serious emotional and even physical responses.
While all forms of scams and fraud are painful and can leave the victims with feelings of mistrust, crimes that target the elderly are especially hurtful. The willingness to trust others that many senior citizens have, coupled with the fact that so many are living on a fixed income, means anyone who’s willing to defraud an elderly person has absolutely no moral compass.
While the Identity Theft Resource Center is known for helping victims of identity theft and other related crimes, around ten percent of the calls that come in through the 24-hour, toll-free call center have to do with internet takeover. As the name implies, this is a form of targeted cybercrime in which someone gains access to one or more of your internet accounts and uses them fraudulently while pretending to be you.