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What is Identity Theft?

Updated on November 1, 2017

Identity theft occurs when criminals obtain enough personal information about someone that it “allows them to impersonate that person” (McGraw Hill 423). When this occurs the criminal can gain access to the persons financial accounts, credit card information and make purchases using the others finances. This happened to Dave Crouse in 2009, when “over $900,000 in merchandise, gambling, and telephone charges were siphoned out of his debit card” (market watch). “Dave Crouse used to be an avid online shopper and banker, but in 2009 his finances were bled dry and his identity was made public” by a cyber criminal who stole his identity (market watch).

Usually “identity thieves make small incremental purchases on your credit card”

Individuals can protect themselves from identity theft by keeping a close eye on credit card and bank reports, tracking purchases and monitoring credit ratings at Equifax, Experian and Transunion on a regular basis. Usually “identity thieves make small incremental purchases on your credit card” so, credit card reports must be examined carefully for any strange purchases and never use a debit card to purchase anything online (Howstuffworks). Also individuals should never post their address, phone number, or social security number anywhere on the Internet. Also individuals should be aware of “phishing” “which is a scam that creates a fake email or website such as PayPal or AOL which asks for personal information” (HowStuffworks). Before giving personal information ask the company, bank or web store why they need it and what they intend to do with it. Also every computer used to make online purchases or banking should have anti-virus programs running constantly to protect against Trojans, which install malicious software on your computer. If any unusual activities take place contact the FTC immediately.


Berokowitz, Kerin, Hartley, Rudelius “marketing” McGraw hill, New York 6th edition UT Dallas 2000. Web. 17th November 2012

Grabiannowski Ed “ How to Protect Against Identity Theft” HowStuffWorks Inc. np nd. web. 20th November 2012

Waters, Jennifer “Identity fraud nightmare: one man’s story” Market watch Inc. 10th February 2010 web. 20th November 2012


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