Identity Fraud Explained

Are Identity Theft and Identity Fraud the Same Thing?

Sometimes identity theft is referred to as identity fraud. You might be wondering what determines how a crime is defined. If you want to know what makes one crime one thing and another the other, read on...

How Does the Victim Feel?

A lot of times a victim of an identity crime strongly feels he or she has been deprived of personal identity. Identity fraud certainly has less negative aspects associated with it, but ultimately the crime is no less serious for its victims. I prefer the term identity theft because many victims do feel that the criminals have replaced their personal identities, and how the victim feels is the most important consideration. Try to imagine how you would feel if someone showed up at a store and purchased something using your name and credit card.

It’s hard not to feel cheated when you’ve been victimized by identity theft. If a criminal has charged up credit card balances under your name and you’ve only recently found out about them, your credit rating can be ruined. It can take a lot of effort to repair the damage that is caused by fraud such as identity theft.

Whether you refer to the same crime as identity fraud or identity theft does not actual impact its frequency. Most experts agree that identity theft is under reported, and that is independent of the terminology we use to refer to this crime.

Take Action

If you’ve been victimized by identity fraud or identity theft, immediate action is always your best line of defense. The longer you delay notifying your creditors and bank, the more possible damage that can be done. Don’t delay notifying your creditors about identity fraud or identity theft just because you’re embarrassed. This is clearly a time when you’ll have to set aside your personal feelings and act objectively in order to reduce the damage that identity fraud causes you.

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